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Using your smartphone to control music streaming while driving can be a recipe for disaster. Many accidents occur each year because people are fiddling with their phones while driving, yet you don’t want to stop every time you want to change what you are listening to on your music apps. Fortunately, road trip music can be controlled directly from some navigation apps. This guide shows you how to safely use Spotify (and other apps) directly from Google Maps and Waze.

Tip: need a positive moment in your day? Check out the best uplifting Spotify podcasts.

Which Streaming Services Are Supported in Google Maps?

The embedded music feature in Google Maps allows you to control your music streaming apps with a button on the navigation screen. With a tap, you can access the audio player and make selections while actively navigating. You don’t have to leave one app to use another.

The audio player on Google Maps supports YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Spotify (iHeartRadio also seems to be available in some regions) on Android phones and Apple Music and Spotify on iOS.

How to Enable the Music Player from Google Maps

To control your music streaming app from within Google Maps, you’ll have to first enable the music player feature.


    Open Google Maps on your phone.

    Tap your Google account’s profile picture in the top-right corner.

      Scroll down to “Settings” and tap it.

        Tap “Navigation Settings.”

          Tap the “Assistant default media provider” option.

            Select your preferred music service from the next screen. YouTube Music is already added by default. If you want to connect Spotify or Apple Music to your Google Maps, you’ll need to tap the respective option.

              A new window will appear where you’ll be asked to link your Google account (the same one you use in Google Maps ). It will be enabled on all devices. Tap “Continue.”

                On the next screen, tap “Agree and continue.”

                  If linking to Spotify, you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll be asked to allow Google to view your Spotify activity and account data (among other things). Tap the green “Agree” button at the bottom.

                    Your chosen music streaming app will now be your default music service in Google Maps. If you wish to remove it, press “Unlink” underneath.

                    Good to Know: if you’re constantly traveling to a particular location, it may be handy to know how to save a route in Google Maps.


                    Open Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad.

                    Tap on your Google account profile picture in the search bar at the top.

                      Select “Settings.”

                        Tap “Navigation” at the top.

                          Tap the “Music playback controls” option.

                            Select either Apple Music or Spotify. If you want to use the latter service in Google Maps, make sure you’ve downloaded the app from the App Store. Apple Music is preinstalled on your iOS device.

                              Press “Open” in the following pop-up.

                                If you selected Spotify, authorize Google to access your Spotify info by pressing the “Agree” button.

                                  Your chosen music streaming app will now be your music player in Google Maps on your iPhone or iPad.

                                  Tip: you can easily transfer your Spotify playlists to YouTube Music if you like this service better.

                                  How to Control Your Music App in Google Maps

                                  Once you have enabled your music player and are ready to start your trip, follow these steps to access your music without leaving Google Maps.


                                  Open Google Maps.

                                  Open the Spotify app (or any other, depending on your preference) on your device and start playing music.

                                  In Google Maps, enter your destination and begin navigation. You should see the music bar at the bottom.

                                    It will display the artist’s name as well as the song playing. You can control music playback from there with a single tap. Press either Pause/Play or skip to the next song. If you have already created a playlist for your trip, learn how to create collaborative playlists with Blend on Spotify.

                                      You can collapse the music bar by tapping on the downward arrow at the top of the card.

                                      The streaming service’s icon will be visible in the app tray.

                                        Interestingly, you can add content from more apps from the Navigation menu in Google Maps. Tap on the icon shaped like four tiny squares in the lower right corner.

                                        You’ll be able to select the streaming apps you have installed on your device. In this example, we can get access to Castbox, Audible, and Podcasts.

                                          Once you tap on the app, you can select a podcast from Google Maps.

                                            Tap on what you want to listen to, and it will immediately start playing.

                                            Tip: Looking for a Google Maps alternative? This list includes the best ones currently available.


                                            Follow the first three steps outlined in the Android section to bring up the music-playing bar at the bottom of Google Maps.

                                            Interestingly, on iOS, you get an extra “Browse” button.

                                              This takes you to a page offering recommendations based on the music you previously listened to. You can “Open Spotify” from there too.

                                                The bar also features music controls, just like on Android. Although on iOS, you have an extra “Go to previous song” button.

                                                Which Streaming Services Are Supported in Waze?

                                                Google Maps is not the only app that allows integration with music apps. The Waze app also does so on a larger scale. Whereas Google Maps only gives you two options for your media player, Waze gives you a choice between multiple services! You can use Audible, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, TIDAL, TuneIN or Scribd on Android. On iOS you have all these options as well, plus TuneIN Pro.

                                                How to Enable the Music Player in Waze

                                                As with Google Maps, you’ll need to first enable the music player in Waze before controlling music streaming from the navigation app. The steps for Android and iOS are similar, with a few minor exceptions.

                                                Open the Waze app on your device.

                                                Tap on “My Waze” at the bottom. On iOS, swipe left to bring up a side menu.

                                                  Press on the gear icon in the upper-left corner.

                                                    Look for the “Driving preferences” section and select “Audio player.”

                                                      Make sure the “Show on the map” toggle at the top is enabled. “Show next song” is optional.

                                                        Check the list of supported streaming apps. If the app you want to use isn’t installed on your device, there is a handy “Install” button that takes you directly to the Google Play Store.

                                                        Tip: provide more accurate directions with pins on Google Maps.

                                                        How to Control Your Music App from Waze

                                                        Once you ensure the music player option is visible within the app, enter your destination in the “Where to” bar.

                                                          Pressing the “Go now” button will kickstart the app’s navigation mode.

                                                          Tap the floating pink music note icon.

                                                            Select an app from your list. Waze does not have a default player, so select which one you want to use from inside the navigation app.

                                                              The first time you use each app, you must accept the permissions.

                                                                When Spotify finally connects, press “Play.” There are also controls for navigating to the next or previous song, shuffling, and “Loving” the song that’s playing.

                                                                  If you want to change songs/albums quickly, tap on the “Show list” button underneath.

                                                                  A pop-up will display your most recently played music.

                                                                    To change the streaming app in Waze, tap “Audio apps” at the top of the screen and select a different one.

                                                                      The music app you’ve used in Waze’s navigation mode will show under “Audio player” in Settings under “Your apps.”

                                                                        Tap “Disconnect” if you don’t want to be connected to the app anymore while in Waze.

                                                                        Remember, it is still risky to change apps or playlists while driving, but these features in Google Maps and Waze make it almost as easy as changing a channel on the radio. It’s also possible to create a radio station on Spotify and find new music to listen to while you’re out cruising.

                                                                        Good to Know: wondering which music streaming service is the best? Check out our Spotify vs. Apple Music comparison.

                                                                        Frequently Asked Questions Why does music and podcasts continue playing even after I’ve exited and closed the Google Maps app?

                                                                        This can happen if you’ve forgotten to “Pause” the song or the podcast you’re listening to from the Google Maps app. Even if you’ve closed the navigation or music apps properly before, you’ll need to open Maps again, add a destination, and go to navigation mode. You’ll notice that the audio is still running. Pause it,before exiting the app and you’ll have total silence.

                                                                        Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

                                                                        Alexandra Arici

                                                                        Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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                                                                        You're reading How To Safely Control Spotify From Google Maps And Waze

                                                                        How To Use Google Maps Wildfire Tracking

                                                                        If you live in an area prone to wildfires or have a loved one who does, then the Google Maps wildfire tracking is a definite must. You can see where the fires are located, how widespread they are, and the amount of containment in place.

                                                                        What’s nice about this Google Maps feature is that it’s available on the web and in the Google Maps mobile app. This allows you to keep up with the wildfires wherever you are. 

                                                                        Table of Contents

                                                                        Google Maps Wildfire Tracking on the Web

                                                                        Head to the Google Maps website to view the wildfire tracking in just a few steps. You can log into your Google account if you like, but it’s not required.

                                                                        Search for a location or use your current one. Then, select the Layers icon on the bottom left of the screen. When it pops out with the options, choose More. 

                                                                        This opens the Layers window with the Wildfires layer for you to pick. Once you select it, you’ll see a toggle at the bottom of the screen. This lets you know that you have the Wildfires layer turned on for the area.

                                                                        Each reported wildfire is indicated by a red and white flame icon. Choose any of these icons to see additional information.

                                                                        When you select a fire icon, this opens a panel on the left side. You can see when the last update for that spot was reported, the percentage of the fire contained, and the number of acres burned. If the wildfire has been named, you’ll see this as well.

                                                                        You can close the panel using the X on the top right. Then, use the same actions you normally would to move about the map if you’d like to review other reported wildfires. 

                                                                        To find out more about the feature from Google, use the Learn about fire areas link in the side panel.

                                                                        Turn Off Wildfire Tracking on the Web

                                                                        You can turn off the wildfire tracking if you have other business to attend to on Google Maps, like setting up a custom route for a trip or locating a family member. 

                                                                        Use the toggle at the bottom to disable the feature and return to the original map view. The toggle box will then disappear after a few moments.

                                                                        Alternatively, you can select the Layer icon to enable the feature and then deselect the Wildfires layer to turn it off.

                                                                        Google Maps Wildfire Tracking in the Mobile App

                                                                        If you’re on the go, you can review the Google Maps wildfire tracking on your mobile device. Open the Google Maps app on Android, iPhone, or iPad to get started. 

                                                                        You can search for a location or use your current one. Then, tap the Layers icon on the top right below the search box on the main screen. Select the Wildfires layer to turn it on and tap the X to close the Layers window.

                                                                        Like on the web, you can select a red and white flame icon to get further information about the fire. This opens a window on the bottom part of the screen with details of the last update, percentage contained, and number of acres burned. Swipe up slightly from the bottom to view all the information.

                                                                        After you finish, swipe down to close the details about that fire and then select another to view its information if you wish. 

                                                                        You can use your fingers to zoom by pinching inward or outward as you normally would in Google Maps.

                                                                        Exit Wildfire Tracking in the Mobile App

                                                                        Tap the arrow on the top left when you have tracked the wildfire. This returns you to the main Google Maps screen and turns off the Wildfires layer simultaneously.

                                                                        Interested in how to use other features like this in Google Maps? Take a look at all the uses for Street View!

                                                                        How To Drop A Pin In Google Maps On Desktop And Mobile

                                                                        Google Maps has long usurped sat nav providers to become one of the best map apps and journey planners for mobile and desktop devices, rivalling Apple Maps and Bing Maps along the way.

                                                                        You can use it to find a destination you know, but if you’re trying to find the address for a place you can see in Google Maps, you can drop a pin on it. This will load up relevant information about the location, as well as help you find directions, see photos, and more. 

                                                                        Table of Contents

                                                                        Here’s how to drop a pin in Google Maps on Android, iOS and desktop devices.

                                                                        How To Drop a Pin In Google Maps On Android

                                                                        While you can look through your Google Maps location history to find a location you’ve previously visited, this doesn’t help you if you’re trying to find out about a location you’ve not been to before. A good way to do this, on the Google Maps mobile apps and desktop, is to drop a pin on that Google Maps location.

                                                                        If you’re an Android user, here’s how to drop a pin in Google Maps using the Android app.

                                                                        Open the app and use the search bar to move the map view to the location you want. You can also do this manually using your finger.

                                                                        Once your map view is in place, press on a location on the map for a couple of seconds—a red pin will appear. A pin will appear automatically for locations you search for in the search bar. Pressing on the pin will load details about the location in the app.

                                                                        If you’re finished, return to the map view and tap once—the pin should disappear, unless you’ve saved it as a location to your account. You can also press X in the search bar to cancel the pin from view.

                                                                        How To Drop a Pin In Google Maps On iOS

                                                                        If you have an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad, you shouldn’t expect any difficulty in repeating the steps above to drop a pin in Google Maps, as the interface for Google Maps is almost identical on iOS as it is on Android devices.

                                                                        Here’s what you need to do to drop a pin in Google Maps on iOS devices.

                                                                        You’ll need to download and install Google Maps from the App Store for iOS first. To manually drop a pin, long-press on the map to drop it. If you search for a specific location, Google Maps will drop a pin automatically on that location. Once a pin has appeared in the map view, press on it to load further details about that location.

                                                                        Like Google Maps on Android, Google Maps on iOS allows you to search for directions to your pin by pressing Directions, to add a label like work or home using Labels, or to share the pin with others by pressing Share Place. Further information, like map coordinates or a postal address, will also be visible here, along with location reviews and photos using the various tabs at the top of the menu.

                                                                        To remove a temporary pin (eg. not a saved location) from your map, tap once in the map view, or press the X button in the search bar at the top.

                                                                        How To Drop a Pin In Google Maps On Desktop Devices

                                                                        Many of the features shown in the Google Maps apps on Android and iOS found life in the desktop version of Google Maps. This is the web version of Google Maps that you can access in any modern web browser on any operating system, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

                                                                        While you don’t need a Google account to use Google Maps, you will need to sign in to one if you want to save pins or locations to your account to use later.

                                                                        To drop a pin in Google Maps on a desktop device, head to the Google Maps website. The process is very similar to mobile devices—you can search for a location to automatically drop a pin, or manually press on a location in the Google Maps map viewer to drop one yourself. 

                                                                        Planning Trips With Google Maps

                                                                        Once you know how to drop a pin in Google Maps, you can start using it to plan your journeys. If you want to make the most of Google Maps, use it to give back to your local community using the Local Guides for Google Maps program, which rewards you for reviews, photos, and answers you post about locations you visit.

                                                                        Tutorial — How To Visualize Feature Maps Directly From Cnn Layers


                                                                        Let’s put on the eyes of Neural Networks and see what the Convolution Neural Networks see.

                                                                        Photo by David Travis on Unsplash


                                                                        The reader knows how to generate the CNN model.

                                                                        The reader understands the trainable parameter calculations and the size of inputs and outputs of various intermediate layers.

                                                                        Imp Note:-

                                                                        Here, we are only concerned with building a CNN model and checking its feature maps. We are not concerned about the accuracy of the model.

                                                                        Now, without wasting our time let us build a model:-

                                                                        We create a multi-class model with three classes.

                                                                        model=tf.keras.models.Sequential([ tf.keras.layers.Conv2D(8,(3,3),activation ='relu', input_shape=(150,150,3)), tf.keras.layers.MaxPooling2D(2,2), tf.keras.layers.Conv2D(16,(3,3),activation ='relu'), tf.keras.layers.MaxPooling2D(2,2), tf.keras.layers.Conv2D(32,(3,3),activation ='relu'), tf.keras.layers.MaxPooling2D(2,2), tf.keras.layers.Flatten(), tf.keras.layers.Dense(1024,activation='relu'), tf.keras.layers.Dense(512,activation='relu'), tf.keras.layers.Dense(3,activation='softmax') ])

                                                                        The summary of the model is:-


                                                                        As we can see above, we have three Convolution Layers followed by MaxPooling Layers, two Dense Layers, and one final output Dense Layer.

                                                                        Imp note:- We need to compile and fit the model. Hence run the model first, only then we will be able to generate the feature maps. I have not shown all those steps here.

                                                                        To generate feature maps we need to understand model.layers API.

                                                                        Accessing Intermediate Layers of CNN:-

                                                                        Let us understand how to access the intermediate layers of CNN.

                                                                        Getting names of layers of CNN:-

                                                                        layer_names = [ for layer in model.layers] layer_names

                                                                        Which gives the output as:-

                                                                        ['conv2d', 'max_pooling2d', 'conv2d_1', 'max_pooling2d_1', 'conv2d_2', 'max_pooling2d_2', 'flatten', 'dense', 'dense_1', 'dense_2']

                                                                        Checking the layers:-


                                                                        It returns the list of Layers as below:-

                                                                        Getting output of the layers of CNN:-

                                                                        layer_outputs = [layer.output for layer in model.layers]

                                                                        This returns the output objects of the layers. They are not the real output but they tell us the functions which will be generating the outputs. We will be incorporating this layer.output into a visualization model we will build to extract the feature maps.

                                                                        To generate feature maps, we have to build a visualization model that takes an image as an input and has the above-mentioned layer_outputs as output functions.

                                                                        Important thing to note here is that we have total 10 outputs, 9 intermediate outputs and 1 final classification output. Hence, we will have 9 feature maps.

                                                                        feature_map_model = tf.keras.models.Model(input=model.input, output=layer_outputs)

                                                                        The above formula just puts together the input and output functions of the CNN model we created at the beginning.

                                                                        There are a total of 10 output functions in layer_outputs. The image is taken as input and then that image is made to pass through all these 10 output functions one by one in serial order.

                                                                        The last output function is the output of the model itself. So, in total there are 9 intermediate output functions and hence 9 intermediate feature maps.

                                                                        This means any input we give to the feature_map_model, the output will be in the form of 9 feature maps.

                                                                        Now, we will prepare an image to give it as an input to the above feature_map_model:-

                                                                        image_path= r"path of the image from desktop or internet."

                                                                        img = load_img(image_path, target_size=(150, 150))

                                                                        input = img_to_array(img) input = x.reshape((1,) + x.shape)

                                                                        input /= 255.0

                                                                        In the above code, we have loaded an image into a variable “input”, converted it to an array, expanded the dimensions of the image to match the dimensions of the intermediate layers, and finally, we have scaled the image before feeding it to the layers.

                                                                        Now, let’s feed it into the model created:-

                                                                        feature_maps = feature_map_model.predict(input)

                                                                        The above code has finally generated feature maps for us.

                                                                        We will again decode the feature_maps content.

                                                                        Now that the feature maps are generated, let us check the shape of the feature maps of each of the outputs.

                                                                        The above code will give the layer name of intermediate layers of the CNN Model and the shape of the corresponding feature maps we have generated.

                                                                        Steps to generate feature maps:-

                                                                        We need to generate feature maps of only convolution layers and not dense layers and hence we will generate feature maps of layers that have “dimension=4″.

                                                                        for layer_name, feature_map in zip(layer_names, feature_maps):

                                                                        if len(feature_map.shape) == 4

                                                                        Each feature map has n-channels and this number “n” is given at the end of the shape of the feature map. This is the number of features in a particular layer.

                                                                        For eg. feature_map[0].shape = (1,148,148,8). This means this is an image with 8 dimensions. So, we need to iterate over this image to separate its 8 images. This shows that layer_1 output has 8 features which have been clubbed into 1 image.

                                                                        for layer_name, feature_map in zip(layer_names, feature_maps):

                                                                        if len(feature_map.shape) == 4

                                                                        # Number of feature images/dimensions in a feature map of a layer k = feature_map.shape[-1] #iterating over a feature map of a particular layer to separate all feature images.

                                                                        for i in range(k): feature_image = feature_map[0, :, :, i]

                                                                        The feature maps directly generated are very dim in visual and hence not properly visible to human eyes. So, we need to do Standardization and Normalization of the feature image extracted.

                                                                        Standardization and Normalization of an image to make it palatable to human eyes:-

                                                                        feature_image-= feature_image.mean() feature_image/= feature_image.std () feature_image*= 64 feature_image+= 128 feature_image= np.clip(x, 0, 255).astype('uint8')

                                                                        With keeping the above three points, let us generate feature maps,

                                                                        for layer_name, feature_map in zip(layer_names, feature_maps):

                                                                        if len(feature_map.shape) == 4 k = feature_map.shape[-1] size=feature_map.shape[1] for i in range(k): feature_image = feature_map[0, :, :, i] feature_image-= feature_image.mean() feature_image/= feature_image.std () feature_image*= 64 feature_image+= 128 feature_image= np.clip(x, 0, 255).astype('uint8') image_belt[:, i * size : (i + 1) * size] = feature_image

                                                                        Finally let us display the image_belts we have generated:-

                                                                        scale = 20. / k plt.figure( figsize=(scale * k, scale) ) plt.title ( layer_name ) chúng tôi ( False ) plt.imshow( image_belt, aspect='auto')

                                                                        Google Maps Integrates Local Product Data

                                                                        Google Maps Integrates Local Product Data

                                                                        Google’s Froogle last year became one of only a select few shopping sites to start to offer local, “offline” information (ShopLocal and CNet are the others) in addition to traditional e-commerce. Shopping engines across the spectrum recognize — and shopping maestro Brian Smith of Comparison Engines agrees — that offline inventory information is really the (I hate to say it but here goes . . . ) “Holy Grail” of online shopping.

                                                                        People research online and then want to buy locally. Why? Because they don’t want to pay shipping, want to be able to return it locally, want it that day and, in many cases, trust the local retailer (even if it’s a big box) more than some anonymous online merchant, regardless of how many happy faces that retailer may have.

                                                                        As has been widely reported, comScore is launching a tracking study (qSearch Retail) that will formally connect the relationship between search/online shopping and offline buying. This ongoing study will only confirm the increasingly powerful relationship between the Internet and local shopping. It’s estimated that almost $350 billion in offline transactions were influenced by the Internet in 2005.

                                                                        Google’s/Froogle’s offline inventory data is being provided by chúng tôi and by ShopLocal. And now Google has integrated StepUp data into Maps/Local with a cool twist – product images. It’s buried and there are some kinks, but it’s very promising. Here’s an example.

                                                                        First let’s talk about the obvious problems (recognizing this is a beta/first step):

                                                                        3. I’m not able to search or category browse the micro-site/landing page for that product

                                                                        Assume these problems get solved. Now let’s talk about how this starts to point to a really interesting opportunity for the consumer, the local retailer and Google – and how it much more clearly connects online and offline.

                                                                        Assuming that the information offered by StepUp and Google is accurate and as the coverage becomes greater, and as the integration becomes more intuitive and “elegant,” this provides demonstrable value for both the user and the merchant.

                                                                        I’ve argued for some time that all shopping engines will need to provide the “where can I buy it locally?” data to fully satisfy the dominant consumer use case. Right now there are a host of practical “infrastructure” problems that companies like ShopLocal, Channel Intelligence and StepUp are trying to solve. But it’s only a matter of time before “platform agnostic” becomes the norm and local/offline inventory information becomes a must-have for shopping sites.

                                                                        How To Control Screen Time On Android With Google Family Link

                                                                        It seems like an impossible task, and it’s certainly far from easy. Even if you successfully manage to block one device, they’ll probably find another or turn on the TV and watch Netflix.

                                                                        There is no magic bullet and you’ll still have to do some supervision (as well as hiding the TV remote) to ensure your child isn’t seeing stuff they shouldn’t.

                                                                        Plus, you should sit down with them and talk about the dangers of unrestricted use and explain why you’re about to install an app that will let them control how much their use their precious device. 

                                                                        We’re not saying there won’t be arguments and tantrums, but since asking a child to turn off their phone and do something else is largely ineffective, here’s how to use apps and settings to control their screen time on Android phones and tablets (and Chromebooks, too).

                                                                        parental control software that works across all of them and can enforce the time limits you set regardless of which device they use.

                                                                        How to use Google Family Link

                                                                        In 2023, things are much better, and in our experience, Family Link does what we want it to. Here’s a summary of its features:

                                                                        It provides an overall screen time limit, which can be different every day

                                                                        It lets you set a bedtime: hours between which the device cannot be used

                                                                        For any given app (including games and social media) you can set a time limit, block it or always allow it, regardless of whether the daily screen time has been used up

                                                                        It lets you approve or deny requests to install specific apps from Google Play

                                                                        It lets you see a child’s current location on a map (requires mobile data)

                                                                        Parents can install it on iPhone or Android to monitor and change settings on the child’s Android device

                                                                        Many paid-for parental control apps fail to do all of the above, so Family Link is a good way to control screen time, all for free.

                                                                        Family Link is designed to be used with child Google accounts (i.e. accounts for children under 13). However, it also works with pre-existing Google accounts of children any age, so you can continue to restrict screen time for kids older than 12.

                                                                        Do note that Family Link does not block offensive content; it is up to you which apps you allow your child to use.

                                                                        Also, bear in mind that Always Allowed apps will work even if the child’s screen time is used up for the day, but only until Bedtime comes into effect. This is in contrast to Apple’s Screen Time where apps that are always allowed work regardless of any screen time limits and bedtime restrictions. 

                                                                        To set up and use the app, you will need both your phone and your child’s phone. The steps may vary slightly, but here’s the basic process:

                                                                        Go to the app store on your phone – Android or iPhone – and search for Google Family Link.

                                                                        Follow the instructions to sign into your Google account

                                                                        If you’re not already a Family Manager, follow the steps to set up a Google Family and make yourself the manager (or one of the managers)

                                                                        Choose an existing Google account you want to manage, or create a new child account

                                                                        Install the Google Family Link app on the child’s phone

                                                                        Follow the prompts on the parent’s phone to link the child’s device (this requires the two devices to be within Bluetooth range)

                                                                        Choose from the list of apps already installed on the child’s device whether to allow or block them

                                                                        Once this first stage of the process is complete, you can then use the Family Link app on the parent’s phone to:

                                                                        Manage settings such as purchase and download approvals

                                                                        Choose age restrictions for apps & games, films, TV and books

                                                                        Configure (or edit) limits, including Daily Limits (total screen time) and Bedtime

                                                                        Use App Controls to set a specific time limit for each app

                                                                        See the current location of the phone

                                                                        See the total amount of screen time used today (and historically)

                                                                        Lock the child’s phone to temporarily prevent them from using it

                                                                        ‘Ring’ the child’s phone to locate it when it has been misplaced

                                                                        Like other Google apps, Family Link uses a series of ‘cards’ so you need to scroll up and down to get to the section that you want. It should list other devices besides the one you’ve just installed Family Link on which the child has been signed into. You’ll need to install the app and link those devices before time limits will be enforced across them. Until you’ve done that, they’ll have unlimited use on those devices.

                                                                        How to restrict content in the Google Play Store

                                                                        If you’re not going to use Family Link, you can set similar restrictions about the apps, games, films, TV and books your child can download from the Play Store.

                                                                        To do this, launch the Play Store app on their device and tap the profile picture to the right-hand side of the search bar. If necessary, scroll down and tap Settings, then tap Family.

                                                                        Tap Parental controls and tap the toggle to enable them – enter a PIN so that the settings cannot be changed by the child.

                                                                        Confirm the PIN, then you’ll be able to go into each section and set the restrictions you want in place. 

                                                                        The different sections are Apps & games, Films, TV and Books. Unfortunately, Music is no longer one of the categories.

                                                                        Tap on one and you’ll see the various age categories available. Simply tap the highest age you want the child to have access to and then tap Save.

                                                                        Now, whenever your young one is in the store they won’t be able to download any content that is rated above the setting you’ve put in place. Books is slightly different, in that the settings cordon off content that is marked as explicit rather than by age. 

                                                                        If you want to prevent kids from buying content freely, go back to the Settings menu and tap on the Authentication heading.

                                                                        Now tap Require authentication for purchases. Make sure ‘For all purchased through Google Play on this device’ is selected. They will now need your password to install any apps or make in-app purchases.

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