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Microsoft launches new Family Safety app for iOS and Android

Microsoft is launching a new Family Safety app for iOS and Android this week. The software giant has tested the app in the past few months and is intended to enable families to manage screen and app usage. Parents can use the Family Safety app to get reports on app usage and total time, and even set app time limits so children can request extensions.

Microsoft Family Safety is also synchronized on Windows, Xbox and Android, so that time limits for games and apps are synchronized on multiple devices. This prevents children from swapping devices for extra hours to play Minecraft or Fourteen days. Certain apps can also be blocked entirely.

Content filter in the Microsoft Family Safety app.

Microsoft has also added web and search filters to limit surfing to kid-friendly websites. These filters work in the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows, Xbox and Android. Most of these screen and content filters are limited to Android on the mobile side, but Microsoft says work is underway to bring them to iPhones as well. There’s even the option to block surprise spending on accounts with purchase request emails, avoiding credit card bills for thousands of V-dollars.

Family security can also be used for location sharing between family members. Microsoft added a new location clustering feature during the beta that allows users to see when multiple family members are in the same location. Microsoft also plans to add notifications when family members reach or leave a location. However, this is a premium feature for Microsoft 365 subscribers.

Location sharing in the Microsoft Family Safety app.

A new drive security feature is also underway for Microsoft 365 subscribers. It should help people to develop better driving habits and to give “insights into driving behavior”. Microsoft doesn’t say exactly when it’ll arrive, but this drive security feature is rolling out in the U.S., UK, Australia, and Canada.

If you’d like to try the Microsoft Family Safety app, it’s now available on the Google Play Store and will be available on the Apple App Store later this week.

Update, July 28, 12:35 PM: Microsoft plans to launch the app on iOS later this week.

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