Google has updated its Family Link parental controls app in preparation for next month’s launch of its Stadia game streaming service.
Based on an APK teardown by 9t05Google, there are several interesting tidbits to be gleaned from the Family Link app’s new version 1.49 update.
To start, Family Link will seemingly allow parents to control what games their kids can play on Stadia. This doesn’t come as a surprise, given that it’s exactly the sort of functionality for which Family Link was designed.
However, the teardown also pointed to a “family library” feature, which could allow users to share games with connected family member accounts. That said, as 9to5Google notes, this could simply be referring to a library of all games that have been approved for kids to play.
Further, it seems as though parents will be able to control whether a publisher can see their children’s friends list. Interestingly, this is apparently on a per publisher basis, not per game. In other words, a parent’s decision to hide friend lists from Ubisoft would extend to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Just Dance 20 and all rest of the publisher’s games on Stadia.
Finally, the teardown indicates two payment options that have yet to be confirmed by Google. The first is Google Pay support to purchase games. Google hasn’t yet spoken about which payment methods will be supported on Stadia, so this is particularly interesting to see.
The second option is the ability to buy games in bundles. In theory, this would allow a publisher like Ubisoft to sell some of its games together at a special bundle price.
It remains to be seen how many of these features make their way into Stadia. We’ll find out for sure when Stadia launches in Canada on November 19th.