Xbox Family Settings app helps keep kids safe while gaming

Gaming has seen a huge surge in the past months but not all games and gamers are created equal. There will always be games not suitable for younger players but the latter group might not always know that. That's why Xbox has been steadily improving is Familly Settings on the console to protect these young gamers and now it is extending those controls so that parents and guardians can set or ease limits even when they're not currently at home.

Xbox has been improving its Family Settings for the past months to ensure that, even if many games aren't really child-friendly, children will only be exposed to ones that are. More importantly, the system also makes sure that kids are protected against improper language and especially from strangers. Those, however, require that grownups are right in front of the Xbox to make those changes.

The Family Settings app for Android and iOS now lets parents see and respond in real-time to their children's needs. They can monitor how much time kids have already spent and, if they're feeling generous, extend their playing hours just a bit.

The controls also go beyond just gaming itself. Parents will actually be able to peek at their kids' Friends List and approve or deny requests as they see fit. They can also limit who will be able to communicate with their kids to give older children some leeway while still keeping the youngest ones protected. All these from the comfort of their smartphone even when they happen to be away or in another room.

The Xbox Family Settings app is now available but only in a preview form first. The ability to manage friends list won't be added until everyone already has their hands on the app later this year.