Microsoft is launching a new Family Safety app for iOS and Android today. The software giant has been testing the app in recent months, and it’s designed to allow families to manage screentime and app usage. Parents can use the Family Safety app to receive reports on app usage and overall screentime and even set app time limits with the ability for children to request extensions.
Microsoft Family Safety also syncs across Windows, Xbox, and Android, so time limits for games and apps will be synced across multiple devices. This prevents kids from swapping devices to get some extra hours to play Minecraft or Fortnite. Specific apps can also be fully blocked.
Microsoft has also added web and search filters to limit browsing to kid-friendly sites. These filters work across Microsoft’s Edge browser on Windows, Xbox, and Android. Most of these screentime and content filters are limited to Android on the mobile side, but Microsoft says it’s working on bringing them to iPhones, too. There’s even the ability to lock down surprise spending on accounts with purchase request emails, helping prevent credit card bills for thousands of V-bucks.
Family Safety can also be used for location sharing between family members. Microsoft has added a new location-clustering feature during the beta phase, which lets people see when multiple family members are at the same location. Microsoft is also planning to add notifications for when family members arrive or leave a location, but this will be a premium feature for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
A new drive safety feature is also on the way for Microsoft 365 subscribers. It’s designed to help people build better driving habits and provide “insights on driving behavior.” Microsoft isn’t saying exactly when it will arrive, but this drive safety feature will launch in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada.
Update, July 28th 5:50PM ET: Article updated with App Store link.