Google Messages Introduces Enhanced Parental Controls for Messages and Senders

What you should know


  • Google’s Messages app is undergoing significant changes, including a developing feature that allows parents to control their kids’ chats.
  • This parental control feature was discovered in version 20240416_00_RC01 of the app, indicating that conversations may require parental approval before proceeding.
  • The feature is speculated to be integrated with the Google Family Link app, which currently manages permissions for minors on various services but does not yet include Google Messages.
  • The introduction of parental controls in Google Messages raises questions about privacy versus protection, but aims to provide parents with tools to safeguard their children from online risks such as cyberbullying.


Full Story

Oh boy, it seems like Google’s Messages app is about to shake things up again. Even after last year’s feature bonanza, there’s more in the pipeline. So, what’s the scoop? Well, it looks like parents might soon get a hefty dose of control over their kiddos’ chats.

This juicy tidbit came to us courtesy of AssembleDebug (hats off to PiunikaWeb for the spotlight), who did a bit of digital sleuthing. By waving some magic flags on version 20240416_00_RC01 of the app, voilà – a hidden feature was revealed. And the screenshots? They’re quite the tell-tale. Imagine opening the app and seeing some chats flagged with “Ask your parent for approval.” Talk about a conversation stopper, right?

Credit where it’s due, PiunikaWeb shared this intel. This new setup means that youngsters can’t just message anyone willy-nilly. They need the parental green light. Try to sneak into one of those no-go chats, and the app doesn’t mince words: “To send, ask your parent for approval.” Pretty straightforward, huh?

Now, if I were a betting person, I’d wager these parental controls will tie into the Google Family Link app. That’s usually where the grown-ups call the shots on what the minors can or can’t do on their gadgets. Right now, Family Link lets parents set boundaries around stuff like Google Play and YouTube, but Google Messages? It’s been the Wild West. Seems like that’s about to change.

So, what’s the big deal with this change? It’s all about giving parents the reins. They can give the nod, set some boundaries, or just slam the door shut on certain contacts. Depending on where you stand, this could be a godsend or a headache. Especially if you’re trying to shield your kids from the darker corners of the internet.

But let’s not gloss over the elephant in the room. This whole privacy versus protection debate is tricky. Sure, the online world can be a scary place, with cyberbullying and all sorts of unsavory characters lurking. It’s no wonder many parents are breathing a sigh of relief at the thought of these new tools in Google Messages.

In the end, it’s all about keeping the little ones safe, isn’t it? And if Google’s cooking up ways to help with that, I’m all ears. Let’s just hope it strikes the right balance. After all, navigating the digital age as a parent is no walk in the park.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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