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Xbox's New Parents App Is Great

Illustration for article titled Xboxs New Parents App Is Great
Image: Microsoft

A couple of years ago I spoke very highly of Nintendo’s parental controls app for the Switch. Microsoft have recently released something very similar, and it’s just as good.

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The beauty of the Switch’s app wasn’t the fact it had parental controls—all consoles do, and have had them for a while!—but the way it took them out of the system settings and into a parent’s hands, where everything they needed was centralised, easy to use and told them all the stuff they needed to know.

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The new Xbox Family Settings App—in public testing earlier this year, but now officially out—does pretty much the same thing, like tracking a kid’s screen time and letting you set limits on how long they can play. In some cases, though, it’s even better; the quick message a child can send their parent asking for 15 more minutes past a timer is an excellent idea, as is the ability to lock/unlock the console during certain times of the day (like only allowing play after school and before dinner, for example).

The app is out now on both iOS and Android.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

I wish the parental controls on the Switch were geared towards sharing of the console between parent and child. For example, I want to lock my kids out of using my profile, and restrict their profiles to certain games.