Xbox has launched a Family Settings app which allows parents to set screen time limits, content filters, and decide who their kids can play with.
The app, available in preview on Android and iOS, allows families to manage children’s games on Xbox consoles in real time via their mobile device.
Xbox said the app will help parents ensure their children “have access to the games you feel are appropriate.”
Dave mccarthy, corporate vice president, Xbox operations, said, “We know that especially right now, families are facing new challenges as a result of school closures, working from home and social distancing due to COVID-19.
“In my own family, we had to navigate this ‘new normal’ and how our existing rules for screen time might need to be adjusted to better reflect our reality. With the Xbox Family Settings (Preview) app, parents can easily relax screen time on Xbox so kids have more time to play, or create a new schedule to help balance distance learning time.
“We believe that, especially now, play plays an important role in helping to connect friends and family and have fun while staying at home. The app makes it easy to find the right balance of play time that is right for your family.
The Xbox Family Settings (Preview) app includes features such as:
- Screen time limits – set limits for each day of the week. For example, you can schedule more time on weekends or reduce the time during the school week
- Content filters – define filters according to the age of each child. PEGI age classifications are used to confirm that the game is suitable for players of a certain age, and children will not be able to access overly mature titles. The PEGI age groups are three, seven, 12, 16 and 18 years old.
- Game and communication settings – block all access to play and communicate with other players, limit access to “friends only” or allow older children to play and chat with “everyone”
- Activity reports – view daily and weekly activity reports for each child to understand how they are spending their time on Xbox.
The app also contains a feature to easily enable access and multiplayer capability for Minecraft, who is classified PEGI at the age of seven. A toggle allows parents to quickly let young children play the game, one of the most popular titles ever, on their own or online with friends.
McCarthy added, “Based on customer feedback on this feature, we may include similar features for other games in the future. “
The Xbox Family Settings (Preview) app will be available to a wide audience later this year, with more features such as the ability for parents to view and manage their child’s friends list and approve or to refuse requests to add new friends via the notifications sent to the application.
The Xbox Family Settings (Preview) app is now available for all Android users and the first 10,000 people on iOS to preview. To download the preview, go to: https://aka.ms/XboxFamilyBetaAndroid and https://aka.ms/XboxFamilyBetaiOS then follow the setup steps on your mobile device.
Tags: applications, games, microsoft, security, technology, Xbox