Preview of Microsoft’s Family Safety app rolls out on iOS, Android

The Microsoft Family Safety app gives parents insight on how their kids are spending their screen time. © Courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft has announced via blog post that a limited preview of its Family Safety app, a mobile application designed to keep family members in touch with one another’s digital well-being and physical safety, has launched for iOS and Android.

In March, Microsoft announced its development of an upcoming mobile application for families that gives parents the tools to track everything from their child’s screen time — across Windows PCs, Android, and Xbox — to their physical location. Not only will various components of their digital activity be monitored, but also some aspects can be controlled.

Microsoft breaks the application down into four main parts:

Activity reporting

Parents will have access to a dashboard on the application which gives them information about their children’s online activity including total screen time, most visited websites and most searched-for terms.

Microsoft explains that this type of tracking was designed to “help facilitate a dialogue on healthy digital choices and begin developing good habits from a young age.”

Screen time limits

Screen time limits can be set across Windows and Xbox devices or simply on particular games or apps.

Content controls

Online boundaries can also be set so that kids don’t stumble — intentionally or not — onto websites or into apps that contain content that a parent deems inappropriate. For example, certain sites can be forbidden whereas the rest can be filtered by age.

Location sharing

Finally, users can see the live locations of other family members on an integrated map. Frequently visited locations can be labeled accordingly.

Right now, the preview of Family Safety app is only available to a limited number of users for a limited amount of time. Those interested in testing out the tool are welcome to sign up to experience all these tools before all slots are filled.