Anything that can help us parents within the home when it
comes to screen time, game time management and setting technology boundaries
should always be welcomed. Especially
now during COVID-19 when goodness knows we need all the help we can get with
children and teenagers spending far more time online.
Microsoft have announced the launch of their Xbox Family
Settings App. It’s available to download soon on both iOS and Android devices.
This is good news for one major reason. If you’re a Parent like me and you have ever
tried to set up and configure the Parental controls on a gaming console you’ll
know it’s not easy. I work in this space and can see it would be difficult for
anyone who dosen’t. In fact the phrase I
hear regularly from parents who attempt it is either ‘I wouldn’t know where to
start’ or ‘I just couldn’t figure it out’.
With the new app parents don’t now actually need to go near
the game console itself – the settings are controlled via the new app.
interesting Wayne. So tell me more..
Didn’t I tell you it was exciting! J.
Soo.. in a nutshell, Xbox Family Settings is an app for parents to help them manage their children’s gaming activities on Xbox One. Once the app is downloaded and installed on the Parents smartphone. The app will then give parents the ability to control children’s screen time, content filters and access to other players. Not all features are available as yet and will be rolled out in the near future but the Screen Time and Content Restrictions are already in place. In the near future parents will also be able to ‘Manage Friends’ from the app.
Parents can set screen time limits for each day of the week. Once the time has been used up the gamer can
then request more time. This can be approved – or not, via a notification on
the parents’ phone. The app also logs
and reports the amount of time the child/teenager has spent gaming. This provides parents with a clearer picture
of how much gaming is being done over say a week. Prepare yourself for reports
of timescales of a part-time or full time job!.
Content filters can also be set based on the age of the child, blocking titles deemed inappropriate – but as we’ve mentioned before, when it comes to filters, none are perfect so always keep this in mind.
Parents can also determine their child’s ability to talk or
play with others during game play, from allowing ‘all’ or ‘friends only’ or blocking
everyone altogether – all controlled from within the app.
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