Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that it’s been working on a new family app called Microsoft Family Safety. It seems that app may be nearly ready for prime time, as Microsoft launched it in preview on iOS and Android today. Getting into the preview at this early stage might be a bit tricky, but if you’ve got a family group set up and ready to make use of the app’s features, it might be worth filling out Microsoft’s form and seeing if you get accepted.
On the surface, Microsoft Family Safety seems like many other parental control apps, but to hear Microsoft describe it, it sounds like the app offers finer control and more specific insights into what the members of your family group are up to. For instance, parents can use the app to get detailed activity reporting on their child’s usage that shows things like screen time, their most-used apps and most-visited websites, and what they’re searching for online.
These activity reports cover mobile, Windows, and Xbox, so they give a more complete picture than apps that only monitor mobile usage. Parents can also set screen time limits on Windows and Xbox One, down to specific games and apps. Kids, on the other hand, can use the app to request more screen time for those apps and games.
As you’d expect from an app like this, parents will also be able to use location sharing as well, which displays family members on a map to give an at-a-glance of view of where everyone is. Parents can also save frequent locations like home and school.
Signing up for the preview is fairly easy, as you’ll just need to fill out this form to be considered. You’ll also want to make sure you have a family group set up before submitting that form, which can be done by heading over to the Microsoft Family site and logging into your Microsoft account. There’s no word on when this app will launch for the general public, but with it entering testing today, the full launch of Microsoft Family Safety probably isn’t too far off.