Xbox has released a new mobile application to help parents manage the gaming habits of their children: the Xbox Family Settings App. 

Releasing in a preview state for Android and iOS before a public release later this year, Microsoft will be giving parents the ability to manage the gaming time of their children directly through the Xbox Family Settings application.

Here’s what you can change:

  • 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 communication 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

Upon its official public release later those year, the Xbox Family Settings App will also allow you to:

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

“We know that especially right now, families are facing new challenges in the wake of school closures, working from home and social distancing due to COVID-19. In my own family, we’ve had to navigate this “new normal,” and how our existing rules for screen time might need to be adjusted to better reflect our reality,” said Corporate Vice President of Xbox Operations, Dave McCarthy.

“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. We 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.”

While the Android version will be available to download for all, Apple’s beta testing policy means that only 10,000 beta testers will be able to help Microsoft improve the app before its public release, just like the iOS version of Project xCloud.

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