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My kids each recently got tablets, but I am struggling with setting up their accounts. I have 'temporarily' set the one up to have my google account as the account holder, because I was not able to 'legitimately' create an account for my child (younger than 13, so Google refused to create the account).

Now, I use my Google account as my primary OpenID authentication for many things, including here at Stack Exchange, and, as a moderator on one site, I have discovered that the tablet inherits the authentication from there, and my kid's tablet now has moderator 'permissions'. This is obviously untenable.

My questions are:

  • do people just 'lie' on the google forms for account creation in order to create new accounts for their under-age kids?
  • do you create a new google account with 'my' details and let the kid's tablet borrow them? (and, if I have a separate account do I need a separate Credit Card?)
  • is there a system I missed when setting things up, such that you can avoid the trickery?
  • if I want to install non-free apps on the device (to remove advertising, etc.) how does one go about 'adding' a credit card to an account like that? Can you use your credit-card on multiple accounts?
  • if I buy apps now with my google account, and then later change accounts for the kids, will I have to re-buy the apps?
3

Usually we say "please stick with one question per post", as that's how a Q&A site works. But I see the topics somehow belong together, so let me try a "multi-answer" as well:

  1. I cannot tell for other people. But I'd not even give my full/real details for my own account unless really required (and I don't see that requirement for Google)
  2. No, I wouldn't do that. And for sure not bind a "credit card" to a kids account (unless it's a pre-paid CC especially made for the kid)
  3. Never heard of such.
  4. You can either take a pre-paid CC and load it just with a minimum (say, USD 10). Or you could simply use a "gift card", which are available here in Europe for EUR 15/25/50 (I assume similar values elsewhere).
  5. Yes. Bought apps are always bound to the account you've acquired them with.
  • The gift card is a valuable insight (well, all your answers are). This will not solve all of the Christmas Day disappointment of not being able to play with them, but it gives me a strategy. Much appreciated. More searching ahead. – rolfl Dec 25 '14 at 21:59
  • 1
    We certainly cannot solve the "13-year" boundary here. But there are means to make Android devices "child prove". I wouldn't have a "bad conscience" creating an account with "fake credentials" for child-use. Keep the credentials to you, and configure the device accordingly, it should be fine. You later can "losen the locks" one by one as the child grows, so it can take the "paid apps" along. Enjoy the holidays! :) – Izzy Dec 25 '14 at 22:46
4

Yes, you have to lie. A separate google-account is the only way to protect your under-age kid.

All other options have these restrictions:

  • no privacy settings.
  • apps using of private data can not be restricted.
  • child can not install child safe games.
  • child is not allowed to communicate with parent using text messages.
  • child always uses parent account.
  • only one age, so only one child possible.
  • all data of child is lost when the child is allowed its own account.
  • apps of all children are also your apps.
  • child can not have contact information.
  • you are not allowed to create a google+ page for your child.
  • children receive all notifications. E.g. your private e-mail.
  • etc.

I just found out again by not lying. All drawings, letters to grandma, games and in-game-progress, pictures etc are gone.

3

Depending on the Android version you can setup the whole thing with your primary account. Then you create a second account on the tablet. Since 4.3 you have the choice between a full account and a limited account.

The limited account is controlled by the main account. For instance you install all apps as main user and then decide which ones are available for the limited one.

Only thing I don't know for sure is whether it also inherits the main accounts authentication and authorisation.

1

Have a look at this article on AndroidCentral. Restricted accounts, Family-friendly Play Market, parent apps are things to note there. http://www.androidcentral.com/setting-kid-friendly-android-device

1

It seems that Google is starting a new program, Google Family Link, to meet this need. It basically lets parents create accounts for their children under the age of 13 and manage the accounts for them. Here's the description:

The Family Link app from Google helps you stay in the loop as your kid explores on their Android device. Family Link lets you create a Google Account for your kid that’s like your account, while also helping you set certain digital ground rules for your family.

With a Google Account, your kid will be able to use Google’s broad ecosystem of services for the first time. Here’s how it works: First, your kid will need a new device that runs Android Nougat (7.0) or higher. Then, download Family Link onto your device (Android or iPhone) and create a Google Account for them through the app. Finally, sign them into their new device, and you can then use Family Link to help you:

  • Manage the apps your kid can use - Approve or block the apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play store.

  • Keep an eye on screen time - See how much time your kid spends on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits.

  • Set device bedtime - Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time for bed, or time to take a break.

If you’re a parent in the US with a kid under 13, you can request an invite to the Family Link early access program. After receiving an invite, download and try out the Family Link app.

Unfortunately, the program excludes people like me outside the US and those with non-brand-new Android devices (who buys an Android 7 device for their kids in 2017????), but I hope it will expand soon.

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