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Google's new Android Q to include built-in parental controls

The new operating system is set for release later this year.


Attendees take their seats at the 2019 Google I/O conference.

James Martin/CNET

Google's new Android Q operating system will include a lot more parental controls, with the company's Family Link features built in.

When parents set up a phone or tablet for their child, they'll be able to control and monitor that device using Family Link, a parental control app Google created in 2017. The controls include reviewing apps used and how long they were used, setting daily screen time limits, and setting device bedtimes so gadgets turn off for certain hours of the day. On Android Q, which is scheduled to come out later this year, you'll be able to set limits on specific apps and offer bonus time when a kid asks for just five more minutes of playtime.

Google's new effort keeps up a trend of tech giants offering more screen time tools for both kids and adults to help cut down on excessive use of mobile devices. In its iOS 12 operating system, Apple created Screen Time, which lets you see how much time you're spending on specific apps, set device time limits and mute notifications. Amazon, too, offers a Parent Dashboard for its FreeTime kids app.

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The parental controls announcement came as Google brought together thousands of developers in its hometown of Mountain View, California, for I/O, its biggest event of the year. The annual conference is Google's opportunity to show off its newest creations for Android, its Assistant software and other popular services.