Keeping kids safe on Android phones and tablets appears to be becoming a whole lot easier as Google unveils the
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update.
The ability to set up multiple users on an Android device has been around for some time (since 4.2) but the latest update will finally give parents the ability to set up restricted profiles for their children.
Once they have set up a new profile for their child, parents can add restrictions to ensure that their child doesn’t use any inappropriate apps, stumble onto unsuitable content on the web, or make microtransactions through games and other apps.
What’s more, different profiles can have different restrictions so that children of different ages can still learn and play safely.
According to Google, “Each restricted profile offers an isolated and secure space with its own local storage, home screens, widgets, and settings. Unlike with users, profiles are created from the tablet owner’s environment, based on the owner’s installed apps and system accounts. The owner controls which installed apps are enabled in the new profile, and access to the owner’s accounts is disabled by default.”
What’s also exciting is that app developers can build apps that behave in a certain way if they are being run on restricted profiles. For example, a video streaming app, once opened through a restricted profile will only stream age-appropriate material.
Restricted profiling isn’t a guaranteed way to keep children safe when using mobiles and tablets but it is a positive step in providing parents with the tools they need to make the right decisions for their kids.
Parenting kids as they discover the technology can be a tricky business, as we saw at the Child Internet Safety Summit in London earlier in June.
It’s great to see increasing interest and steps in making theinternet a safer place for children. Google has given parents a powerful tool; let’s hope they make the most of it.