New Xbox App Lets Parents Monitor And Limit Play Time For Children

Microsoft has released a new Xbox app that aims to give parents more control over what games their children can access and how long they are allowed to play, among other things.

The new “Xbox Family Settings” app lets you set screen time limits on a daily and weekly basis, while it also allows you to provide, for example, more time on the weekends and less during the week. The app gives parents the ability to set content filters. For example, you can choose to block mature-rated games for younger children or other variations based on age and content level.

The Xbox Family Settings app also allows parents to limit in-game communication with other people. You can toggle the setting to only allow children to chat with friends or not at all, for example. Another feature in the app is activity reports, which are exactly what they sound like. These are gaming and usage reports sent daily or weekly to parents.

“We know that especially right now, families are facing new challenges in the wake of school closures, working from home and social distancing due to COVID-19,” Xbox’s Dave McCarthy said in a news release. “In my own family, we’ve had to navigate this ‘new normal,’ and how our existing rules for screen time might need to be adjusted to better reflect our reality.”

The Xbox Family Settings app is out now in preview on Android, while the first 10,000 people on iOS will get into the trial. The app is expected to launch for everyone later this year.

This new app is an extension of what the Xbox One already does. The Family Settings page on the console includes everything the app does, including setting screen-time limits, content filters, and more.

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