The Xbox Console is part of many families, and managing it from the console is a tough job. That’s where the Xbox Family Settings app comes into the picture. Similar to the Microsoft Family app for PC, this Xbox App allows you to manage settings for your kid. In this post, we are looking at how the app works, benefits, and drawbacks.
How to use the Xbox Family Settings app
I have been using Windows Family features for a long time. It had allowed me to make sure that the inappropriate content doesn’t reach on his computer, and he doesn’t overuse the computer. It gives a detailed analysis of what has been using and where he had been going. There are few drawbacks, but it works out at the end.
When it comes to Xbox, it is a bit hard to manage because everything is deep in the menus and settings. Its a console and not a PC, so things are not straightforward. That’s where the Xbox Family Settings app rolls in.
While it loads up Family Settings as soon as you sign-in, even if you are doing it for the first time, you can add kids’ accounts right from the app, however adding here will not add him on Xbox, that is something you will have to do on the console. Whenever you do that, it will instantly apply all the settings you have here.
You will be able to set screen time, manage what games to play, and their spending. There are more, which we have talked about in the features section.
Done that, the dashboard will offer your list of kids in the account along with their gamertag, current usage, and the organizers. You have quick access to notifications and settings.
2] Managing Kids using the app
Tap on the kid’s account, and it will instantly display three things—Screen time, Content Restrictions, and Friends.
Screen Time: It lets you see both Xbox and Windows total usage in the same progress bar. Right under is the schedule, which displays the amount of time set for the account. You can tap on it and set days of the week, time limit, and time range for the console usage.
Note: You cannot set a limit for PC from here. You will have to use Family Safety App.
Content Restrictions: This section allows you to configure the content based on age, followed by list individual games that have been allowed based on age or on the console. There is a small problem here. You cannot block individual games from here.
Next, if you click on the cog icon on top-right, it allows you to configure social, multiplayer, cross-network play, option for clubs, and so on.
Friends: This feature makes sure kids don’t fall into strangers’ tap. You can choose who they can accept and if they can play online games with them.
Grant Screen Permission: It was one of the most requested features which I always wanted for PC. Usually, the kids needed to make a request which sent out an email that you needed confirm; too many steps. Now you get a request in the mobile app, and you can proactively grant your child more screen time.
3] Features of Xbox Family Settings
Here is a summary of the list of features you get with Xbox Family Settings:
- Accept or decline friends
- Screen time limits can be set different for every day
- Content filters based on age which allows kids to play games without much of permission issue
- Play and communication settings such as multi-layer, cross-network
- Activity reports let you view daily, and weekly activity reports for each child to understand how they are spending their time on Xbox
Conclusion and Drawbacks of Xbox Family App
Honestly, there was no need for the Xbox Family App when the Microsoft Family Settings app does most of the heavy lifting. I do get that not everyone has a PC, and not everyone has an Xbox, but this is something easy to detect. As soon as I logged into Xbox App, it will able to figure out child accounts as it is connected to Microsoft Family.
The Xbox App also shows PC usage, which is pointless. If I don’t use a PC, and I only use Mac, then I would not need it. The app doesn’t allow me to block games; instead, I need to use the Family Safety app to block it. Simply put, Microsoft should merge the apps and have a dedicated Xbox and PC section.
While it’s great to have the Xbox Family App, it is still work in progress. If nothing else, you can quickly grant permission without leaving your bed or from anywhere you wish.