Google’s Family Link account is a mixed blessing. On one hand having a supervised account system for your children is awesome. I like having that level of control. On the other hand having Google decide what apps and services I will let my daughter use, very very very frustrating.

At the moment the latest app to cause me issues is Duo. Considering the current restriction on movement and health status of some family members the whole family is not gathering for Mother’s Day. That’s ok, it’s a small sacrifice for a larger good.

To combat this I was about to set my daughter up with a Duo account so she could digitally do the rounds tomorrow from her own device. This is something she has started doing, against my wishes, on Facebook messenger for kids, so she’s used to the concept.

I launched Duo on the Web and started to sign in, we got through the whole Family Link authentication process, which again I like, only to find out it’s still not authorised by Google.

So, there are ways around it, I have Duo so she can just use that, but this isn’t the only time I’ve had this issue. There have been multiple occasions where I have not been able to install the software I want on my daughters tablet because Google has decided it’s not allowed.

I am happy with the idea of there being a Google-curated white list of apps, apps that are enabled by default, and if an app is not on that list then a parent has to authorise it for use on the device. I am not happy with the Google determined blacklist. If I want to let my daughter chat with her grandmother via Duo how is that any of Google’s concern?

I know somewhere there are a team of Google PR and legal people just imaging ways that Google could look bad or be held liable for something, but seriously just build a system that makes the parent accountable, and stop being everyone’s nanny.

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Deej
Deej
20 days ago

I went in and changed my daughters birthday so that she would turn 13 the next day. Lo and behold, she now can do her school learning on YouTube and use Duo without having to mess with my profile.

Will
Will
22 days ago

Thanks for bringing attention to this. Hopefully Soltero can fix things up now that he’s in charge of all messaging.

Based on the Google employee feedback on their support forums, it doesn’t seem like it’s an easy fix either. I’m guessing it’s the same reason G-suite users get left in the dark for years on feature updates.

Tim C
Tim C
22 days ago

The restriction is due to the terms of service and the age of your child. It has nothing to do with Family Link not allowing it.

Turn off family link and test it. You will get the same message.

My daughter over 13 is using it with Family Link with no issues.

Your child is obviously under 13 and the t’s & c’s of the service don’t allow the use of duo

Nigel Elliott
Nigel Elliott
22 days ago

this has annoyed me since i first bought the google home max, the main reason i got the max was for my son to be able to call us and his grandparents.

Anthrox
Anthrox
23 days ago

its like they dont even test stuff with family link

khalido
khalido
23 days ago

Have had the same issue, what google needs is to allow allow kids account to only call or receive calls from ppl saved in their contact list.

If you have kids and grandmas to video call, Facebook has done a really good job with messenger kids, its easy to control and in my experience works better than duo for calling. I have a hub max setup at both ends but the whole Duo video calling experience has been a big letdown. (its slow to ring, sometimes fails to call etc etc.)