Xbox Family Settings App Literally Puts Parental Controls in Your Hand

Microsoft's rich Xbox parental controls move to Android and iOS apps

There's finally a way to manage your child's gaming screen time without logging into an Xbox or opening your PC. These still-in-preview mobile apps will eventually let you adjust screen settings from wherever you are.

Xbox Family Settings app (Preview)

Managing screen time is never easy, but it can be especially hard if you have to log onto your child's console (or access your Microsoft account on a PC) and make adjustments from there. Microsoft's new Xbox Family Settings App (Preview), puts some of those controls in a mobile app.

The details: The free app, which is available on Android and to the first 10,000 iOS users, brings parental controls previously available through the Xbox One console and via a Microsoft account on a PC to mobile devices.

The controls: While the app doesn't duplicate all Xbox family controls, it does have what are arguable the most important ones, such as screen time limits, content filters, play and communication controls, and Activity reports.

Why mobile: Parents aren't always sitting next to their kids when they're gaming and, outside this Pandemic, are sometimes at work while the child is gaming at home. The Family Settings App (Preview) let's parents get reports and make adjustments from wherever they are.

Minecraft update: Parents can now toggle on and off Minecraft multiplayer capabilities from within the app.

Coming soon: Microsoft is still working on these apps and is encouraging users on iOS to screen capture and send them feedback. Among the updates expected later when the apps leave beta is the ability to manage your child's friends list and friend requests.

How do I get them? You can download the Android preview and limited iOS release by following these links:

Bottom line: Managing gaming parental controls should be a lot easier than the discussions about why you need to do so. Putting those controls inside a mobile app should bring us closer to that goal.

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