If you have any Android tablet used by a child It is often important that you take a number of steps to ensure that they are in a safe environment, with age-appropriate games and apps.
Here we tell you what you can do to adapt an Android tablet for use by childrenFrom using Google Play parental control options to setting up more comprehensive Google Family Link parental protection.
Put control in Google Play
If the tablet is shared by the whole family and you just want to put some restrictions on which applications they can download, put limits on Google Play It is a good starting point. There are two main options in this regard: parental control for applications that can be downloaded to the tablet and purchase protection (including in-game purchases).
To use Google Play parental controls, you must access Google Play Settings and enter Parental control. This is generally deactivated from the start, so the first thing you should do is activate it.
This will give you access to the three subsections in which you can control apps and games, movies and music separately. Each of the categories has slightly different ratings, but in essence you will need to choose the ratings that will be allowed on the account. In the case of music, the only option is to restrict the music marked as explicit.
Please note that the above only applies to new downloads on Google Play, and not to applications and games that are already on the tablet. If you do not want to resort to a more complete solution such as Family Link, an alternative in this case is to use different user accounts, using a user account with restricted access for the child, with some applications not available (we will see it below).
It is especially important to prevent the child from making purchases without your permission, both on Google Play and in the games and applications themselves, through integrated purchases. This is also configured from Google Play, entering Settings> Ask for authentication to make purchases.
The truth is that the default option these days is usually to ask for authorization for all purchases made through Google Play on this device, although it never hurts to check it just in case. Thus, to complete a purchase it will be necessary to use your fingerprint, password or other identification method that is associated with your account.
As we mentioned before, the restrictions on Google Play do not apply to applications and games that are already installed on the tablet. In order to block the child from accessing certain apps or games, the best resource at your fingertips is the use of restricted users, since at the moment only some layers of Android like EMUI allow you to block applications with a password.
To use a restricted profile you must go to the Android settings, enter Users (edit) and tap on Add users. The option does not appear on mobile phones, but on the tablet you should see the possibility of creating a Restricted profile.
As the name suggests, the advantage of this restricted profile is that you can tap on the options button to choose which apps will be available and which ones are not. If you check the box it will be available. Yes No No.
For better control, Google Family Link
The above options are a bit scattered, but Google has a complete tool that covers all aspects: Google Family Link. In this case, it is not integrated into Android, but an application must be downloaded separately on the parents’ mobile and another on the tablet used by the children.
The initial setup can be done a bit uphill, as you need to create a Gmail account for the child if you don’t already have it, although the process is relatively quick if done from the app itself. A full Gmail account is not created, but a kind of spin-off from the parent’s account, with parental features enabled at the factory.
The next step is connect the Google Family Link for parents with the Google Family Link for kids. The process is as simple as entering a code that appears in the parenting app in the app on the tablet, during setup.
Once both applications are connected, the rest of the configuration is done comfortably from the parents’ mobile, with a large number of options. For example, from the Google Play section you can control payments and content restrictions or from Chrome you can restrict some websites.
An interesting option is, in the section Applications, from put usage restrictions for certain apps. In this way, you can set a limit of 30 minutes of use of Instagram per day. It sounds similar to Google’s Digital Wellbeing, but here is not a suggestion: after 30 minutes it is over.
The options go beyond the classic, including the ability to activate the safe search on Google or limit the use of third-party applications in the Google Assistant, in addition to activating or not the location registration.
From the application you can control the time of use, see what applications have been used, if any new ones have been installed and check the location of the tablet (if it was activated in the options). Of course, keep in mind that the tablet shows a notification every time you make a change in the settings.
Apps with versions “for children”
Finally, we must not forget that some applications have special versions for children, with a simpler interface and factory-activated parental control. For example, YouTube has YouTube Kids and Netflix, although it uses the same application, it has its own profile for children.
Another good resource is category Families from Google Play, with applications and games designed for children and distinguished in categories with different recommended age ranges.