Xbox announces the Xbox Family Settings App (Preview) to help manage children’s gaming and screen time

As the world moves forward in a post Covid-19 situation the need for families to use online technologies safely and securely has increased. As a parent, I am constantly trying to monitor my children’s access to games and chats with their friends while also balancing their study and gaming habits to make sure there is a healthy amount of both.

To this end Dave McCarthy, Corporate Vice President, Xbox Operations has announced with his team in Xbox the new Xbox Family Settings app which goes into preview today. Some features of the app are:

• Screen time limits – set limits for each day of the week, for example, allow for more time on the weekends or reduce time during the school week

• Content filters – set filters based on the age of each child; an 8-year old can only access games rated E, and will be blocked from accessing titles that are too mature

• Play and communication settings – block all access to play and communications with other players, limit access to “friends only” or grant permission for older children to play and chat with “everyone”

• Activity reports – view daily and weekly activity reports for each child to understand how they are spending their time on Xbox

The app will be available in Preview on May 27th on Android and for the first 10,000 people on iOS. Note that there are two features that are not part of the Preview experience but will be available once the app launches publicly later this year.

• View a child’s friends list

• Manage a child’s friends list by accepting or denying friend requests

Right now families are facing new challenges in the wake of school closures,
working from home and social distancing due to COVID-19. Families have to navigate this “new normal,” and how existing rules for screen time might need to be adjusted to better reflect reality. With the Xbox Family Settings app (Preview), parents can easily relax screen time on Xbox so kids
have more time to play, or create a new schedule to help balance time for remote learning. Team Xbox believe that especially now, gaming plays an important role to help connect friends and family and have fun while
staying home. The app makes it easy to find the right balance of gaming time that feels right for your family.

I installed and logged in to the app this morning and within 5 minutes had a new schedule of screen time and online play set up for my children which synced to my Xbox console, the activity report also shows me when they log on and what games they are playing. The ability to set parameters provides peace of mind and removes some of the anxiety around online play.

You can find more information and sign ups on the xbox wire post here. Xbox encourages everyone to sign up and provide feedback so that the app is fully tested and feature complete.

For more news as it happens keep checking back with

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