Google Assistant Is Getting Parental Controls—Here's What To Know

Users will be able to restrict children's abilities to make calls, request music and videos from certain sources, and interact with set Google Assistant devices.

<p><a href=&quot;https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?photographer=NurPhoto&quot;>NurPhoto</a>&nbsp;/&nbsp;Contributor/ Getty Images</p>

NurPhoto / Contributor/ Getty Images

We can talk all we want about screen time and technology limits. The bottom line: This generation of children is growing up with them. But it doesn't need to be the wild west. Soon, Google Assistant will feel less that way. Google will allow caregivers to reign in what child users can do when it introduces parental controls.

Google Home already has parental controls, but this will be the first for Google Assistant, which was launched in 2016 with few opportunities to set restrictions and has 700,000 users.

Related:Best Parental Control Apps

The previous attempt, through the Family Link app, allowed users to implement some basic limits, including screen time, apps, and content. But the Washington Post reports that the new rollout, planned for the coming weeks, will be more comprehensive.

Users will be able to restrict children's abilities to make calls, request music and videos from certain sources, and interact with set Google Assistant devices. Parents can also implement "downtime" periods when they don't want their children using Google Assistant, such as when they'd prefer they study or get ready for bed.

To access these features when they roll out, you'll need to:

  1. Create a Google Account using the Family Link app.

  2. Add your child's voice to any applicable smart devices, so Google Assistant knows who is using it. This step will prevent you from having to break free of your own parental controls when using Google Assistant yourself.

  3. Go back into Family Link. Select Controls Content restrictions, Google Assistant, Parental controls.

  4. Begin customizing your child's Google Assistant experience based on the limits that work for you and your family.

The caveat: These parental controls won't be accessible on Google Assistant when using your smartphone. Why? Because Google doesn't classify phones as shared devices, so parents will want to keep that in mind before allowing children to use their phones.

Related:Your Child&#39;s First Smartphone: 5 Things to Consider Before You Buy

In an interview with the Washington Post, Google Assistant's senior director noted that the company isn't stopping at parental controls. Google Assistant devices will also launch new child-friendly features, such as a dictionary that provides age-appropriate definitions when responding to a kid's voice. Giving your child access to this dictionary should be straightforward. Ask the smart speaker, and your child shall receive.

There's no set date for these updates, but it appears it will happen before the end of 2022.