TROUBLESHOOTING

     

Microsoft is following Apple và Google’s lead with today’s launch of per-ứng dụng và per-game time limits in its parental control software. Already, the company allows parents khổng lồ limit screen time across Windows 10, Xbox One & Android via the Microsoft Launcher. However, it hadn’t yet allowed parents to lớn limit the amount of time a child could spkết thúc in a specific phầm mềm or game, as its competitors bởi vì.

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Instead, its existing controls allowed parents only khổng lồ dole out a phối amount of hours of screen time. Parents could choose to either leave sầu the time up khổng lồ the kids lớn manage, or limit it at the device level — like, only allowing one hour of Xbox time but permitting more screen time on the PC, for example.

However, the current trend in screen time management is not lớn approach all screen time as unproductive và unhealthy. Instead, it’s about configuring limits on the more addictive sầu apps and games that eat up increasing amounts of children’s time, while permitting educational tools khổng lồ have fewer limits.

For older kids và teens, social media apps like TikTok or Instagram could be the culprit, while younger kids may just be spending too much time “hanging out” in virtual worlds like Roblox & Fortnite. Problems on this front have sầu gotten pretty bad. điện thoại games are under fire for using gambling tactics lượt thích loot boxes to lớn engage children. And Fortnite is now the subject of a lawsuit that claims that, in part, the game’s addictive sầu nature is due to lớn its use slot machine-lượt thích mechanics and variable reward systems, which manipulate children’s brains.

Without being able khổng lồ limit these apps directly, kids may end up using all of their allotted screen time on just the one ứng dụng or game they’re obsessed with at the moment.

Apple had already allowed per-app time limits with the launch of its screen time controls in iOS 12. And Google more recently updated its own Family Link software, now preinstalled on new Android devices, to lớn include a similar feature.

With today’s update, Microsoft is now on board, too.

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The new app và game limits parents phối will apply across Windows 10, Xbox & Android devices running Microsoft Launcher. In other words, kids can’t get more game time just by switching devices.

The controls also allow parents lớn offer more screen time on certain days — lượt thích weekends, for instance — than others.

To use this feature, parents will need lớn create a family group & make Microsoft accounts for all the kids.

Once enabled, kids will get a warning about their screen time 15 minutes before the limit is reached, và then again at five sầu minutes. Because kids will often beg for a few more minutes, Microsoft made it easy for parents khổng lồ grant or deny more time via gmail or via a Microsoft Launcher notification on their own Android phone.

The per-tiện ích time limits are launching today in pReview within Microsoft’s existing family settings.

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“Ultimately, our goal is for the tiện ích and game limits feature khổng lồ provide flexible and customizable tools to lớn meet each family’s chất lượng needs,” the company explains in an announcement. “You as parents know what’s best for your children — no technology can ever replace that — but we’re hoping these tools can help you khổng lồ strike the right balance,” it says.