Google Prepares Needed Wear OS Kids Feature for School Days

As a parent of a 10-year old, I’ve considered whether or not it might be time to let my kid stay more connected than he currently is. While he’s still too young for a phone, I do wonder if a smartwatch might be a way for me to monitor his whereabouts when at an activity while also giving him some tools to contact me when necessary. Wear OS appears to be getting a new feature that might help this decision.

In the changelog for May on the Google System Release Notes page – which talks through Google’s hard-to-keep-up-with updates for the Google Play Store, Play Services, and other systems – Google mentions for Wear OS that a new “School Time” feature is on the way.

Google does not dive into specifics for this feature, but does describe it like this:

 If you’re a parent, you’ll be able to set School Time to limit the apps your child can use and silence their device.

This is mentioned under an Account Management section within a Google Play Services update referred to as v24.18. That update should have started to rollout yesterday and will likely continue on for days to come. I just updated Play Services in beta to 24.17.17 today.

We still don’t have any other details on how to access School Time or where these controls will live. It could end up being a part of Family Link, but one has to wonder if Google is saving a further description for Google I/O next week.

Apple happens to have a “Schooltime” feature on the Apple Watch that Google is likely mimicking here. Apple’s version puts limits on features during school hours that you as the parent can set. Google specifically calls out limiting apps and being able to put a watch in silence, but I’d guess there is a schedule component too.

See also  Microsoft's Family Safety app launches on Android and iOS

Once we know more, we’ll let you know.

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