Xbox launched a Family Settings app which lets parents set screen time limits, content filters, and decide who their kids can play games 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 deem appropriate.”
David McCarthyCorporate 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’ve had to navigate this ‘new normal’ and how our existing screen time rules 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 time for learning at distance.
“We believe that, especially now, gaming 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 playtime that works to 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 time during the school week.
- Content filters – define filters according to the age of each child. PEGI age ratings are used to confirm that the game is suitable for players of a certain age, and children will not be able to access titles that are too mature. The PEGI age ranges 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 spend their time on Xbox.
The app also contains a feature to easily enable multiplayer access and capability for Minecraft, seven-year PEGI rated. A toggle allows parents to quickly allow young children to play the game, one of the most popular titles ever, alone 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 app (Preview) will be available to the general public later this year, with more features such as allowing parents to view and manage their child’s friends list and approve or deny requests to add new friends via 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