In a bid to help parents clamp down on screentime in the household, Microsoft has announced App and Game Limits as part of the family settings options.
The new feature is designed to enhance the current family settings that are available, helping control the way children and teens use their devices. The App and Game Limits require you to have an existing Microsoft Family Group which is where you’ll be able to create or add your child’s account.
The feature now shows “App and Game Limits” by their profile. Clicking through will take you to screen where you can see what devices the limits will apply, and what applications and games are installed. You can also select schedules for weekdays and weekends.
Before this new feature, parents could only set screen time limits with a broad range, but this new system allows more specific choices.
When your child first boots the game, the App and Game Limits will pop up a notification indicating how much time left the child has. Throughout their session, they’ll have another notification, and then full-screen notifications will appear telling the player how long they have left at specific intervals.
When the time is up, the child can decide whether or not they want to just quit the game, or send a message to their parent’s device requesting for additional time. Parents will get the request through email and through a notification from the Microsoft Launcher available on android.
The devices affected by the feature are shared across Xbox One, Windows 10 devices, and Android through the Microsoft Launcher. The limits can be applied to both child and teen accounts. You’ll also be able to see weekly reports showing exactly how much time your child is spending on specific apps or games, allowing you to make screen time choices at a later date if you wish.
Additionally, in regard to setting up a child account on Xbox One, Microsoft has made it a simpler process, removing the requirement of providing a credit card for verification. Now, parents can just add their e-signature for verification.
Screen time is a parental choice and the discussion surrounding it varies from household to household depending on that family’s preferences. Earlier this year, the UK saw the first UK screen time guide introduced.