Making Android better for kids and families


We spend a lot of time thinking about how to make Android work for everyone. Whether it’s giving people their choice of device, or helping app developers make their apps more accessible, we think Android is at its best when more people have access to the power of mobile technology. And that includes kids. Kids are the most curious among us, and technology can be an avenue for them to express their creativity and to help them learn—whether they’re doing research for a school report, learning to string together a few chords on a guitar, or just playing their favorite games. At the same time, we want parents and kids to navigate technology together in a way that makes sense for their family.

Today, we’re happy to announce that Family Link, our solution for bringing kids and their parents into the Android ecosystem, is now available to parents in the United States without an invitation. Parents can also create a Google Account for their kid right from Android setup, and then manage their kid’s account and device with Family Link.

This is the next step in our journey, but we’re far from done. We’ve been humbled by the response from those who have already been using Family Link, and want to say thank you. We appreciate the positive pieces of feedback, as well as the many feature requests, and will continue to listen to your feedback as the product evolves.

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Getting started with Family Link

When you’re setting up your kid’s Android device (see available devices), Google asks you to create an account. Enter your kid’s birthday, and if they’re under 13, you’ll be asked to provide consent to create the account. Once that’s done, Family Link will automatically be downloaded to your kid’s device, and you can choose the apps and settings that you want for your child. Once your kid’s device is setup, download Family Link on your own device, and you can use it to do things like:

  • 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 for their device.

  • Set device bedtime: Remotely lock your kid’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.

Family Link can help you set certain digital ground rules that work for your family, whether you’re occasionally checking in on your kid’s device activity, or locking their device every day before dinner time.

If you have questions about setting up an account for your kid or using Family Link, check out our Help Center.





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Project Fi welcomes Android One, with the moto x4


With Project Fi, we set out to make your wireless experience fast, easy and fair—with access to three national 4G LTE networks, and international roaming at no extra cost. But many of you have asked us for more options for high quality, affordable devices that work with Project Fi. We’ve heard you and we’re excited to launch our newest phone for Project Fi: the Android One moto x4.

We took some important steps with Android One earlier this month by expanding the program to bring a fresh, secure software experience designed by Google to more high-quality devices no matter the price point. The launch of Android One moto x4 on Project Fi is the next step in our commitment to work with more partners and expand Android One to new places.

Packed with a pure Android experience, advanced hardware and great network connectivity, here’s a closer look at what you’ll get with the new Android One moto x4.

Best-in-class software experience designed by Google

Like all Android One phones, Android One moto x4 runs a pure Android experience, with a clean software design and a carefully curated set of preinstalled apps to give you just what you need. For example, it comes optimized for the Google Assistant to help you get more done, and offers high-quality video calling with Google Duo. You’ll also get access to the latest updates from Android, such as Android Oreo before the end of the year. Android One moto x4 will be among the first to receive an upgrade to Android P.


Powerful cameras and unlimited high-quality photo storage

The Android One moto x4 comes with three cameras. A 12MP + 8MP dual rear camera system lets you capture wide-angle photos and detailed portraits. The front-facing camera comes packed with 16MP and an adaptive low light mode. And with free high quality storage from Google Photos, you never have to worry about running out of space.


All day battery and ultra-fast charging

Power through the day and enjoy your favorite Android software features like battery saver. When you need to recharge, TurboPower™ charging makes it ultra fast: You can get up to six hours of power in just 15 minutes.

Top of the line security

The Android One moto x4 will receive timely security updates and built-in malware protection from Google Play Protect, working around the clock to keep your device, data and apps safe.

The Android One moto x4 is priced at $399, comes in Super Black and Sterling Blue, and is available only in the U.S. on Project Fi’s network. You can pre-order it on the Project Fi website starting today. If you’ve got an older Nexus phone and want to trade it in for a new device, we’re making it easier than ever with our new trade-in program. We’ll give you up to $165 for select Nexus devices, and if you start your trade-in for an Android One moto xby October 5, you’ll earn an extra $50 Fi credit.





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Android Wear: 20+ watches for fall


Android Wear was created to take smartwatches beyond “one size fits all.” That’s why we’re thrilled there are even more ways to express your style this fall—all while keeping you informed with messages at a glance, activity tracking, and help from your Google Assistant.

Android Wear Gallery

Fit for the runway

With Android Wear, you never have to sacrifice fashion for function. We’ve partnered with designer brands like: Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Guess, Gc, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger. With a range of designs and endless watch face options, you’ll always be able to find a look that matches your outfit or mood. The Michael Kors Access My Social app lets you dress up your watch face with your favorite Instagram or Facebook photos. Fossil Q Explorist and Q Venture’s unique social sharing feature lets you share your personalized watch face with friends.

Crafted for multi-tasking

If you want a watch that keeps up with your busy life, Android Wear has options. The Montblanc Summit lets you stay ahead and in style, while keeping an eye on your heart rate. The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 is the ultimate in customizable luxury, combining the latest technology with Swiss watchmaking—including both Android Pay and built-in GPS. Movado Connect maintains its iconic design while providing 100 watch face variations and on-watch payments with Android Pay. Want to leave your phone behind? The ZTE Quartz is smart, affordable and cellular enabled.

Stamina for active lives

With heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, GPS, music on the go and sporty designs, Android Wear has a range of watches built for your workout. The Huawei Watch 2 provides motivation with a professional running coach feature and comes fully-loaded with a heart-rate monitor, GPS and Android Pay. The Polar M600 is designed to keep you connected while you train, including smart coaching features that turn your activity and training data into actionable insights. Ticwatch S&E is great for your everyday workout, with a lightweight, breathable design, heart rate monitor and GPS antenna integrated right into the band.

Made for the journey

For the jet setter, Android Wear apps provide on-watch boarding options, travel tips, translations, world timers and maps to help guide your trip. Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon connects you to exclusive travel apps like “LV Guide” and “My Flight,” which organizes your flight times, gates and terminals to guide your journey.

Built for adventure

From climbing to kayaking, the Casio Pro-Trek Smart is your outdoor companion. Built to military standards, the Pro-Trek is crazy tough, with unique outdoor capabilities like advanced GPS functionality and built-in sensors that measure altitudes and atmospheric pressure. With location memory and a full-color offline map, you can even track your hike and record voice-notes along the way.

Whether you’re a jetsetter or trendsetter, Android Wear has got you covered. With so many new watches to choose from, it’s never been easier to wear what you want.





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Taking the next step with Android One


When we launched Android One in India back in 2014, the goal was to get the next billion people online by providing them with high quality, affordable phones. Since then, the larger community has told us they value what Android One stands for across a range of phones—a refreshingly simple software experience that is accessible, always fresh and stays ahead of the curve, with improvements to battery life, usability, and of course, security.  

As phone manufacturers continue to innovate by delivering high quality devices at accessible price points, keeping the inside of one’s phone innovative, fresh and secure is critical to a great experience. We’re extending our commitment to Android One by working with more partners to build phones that run a software experience designed by Google.

In the past year, we’ve expanded the program to new partners, geographies and price points. For example, in Japan, Android One devices are among the top selling phones in Softbank-owned Y!Mobile stores. General Mobile has committed a full portfolio of Android One devices in Turkey, and recently released their fourth offering, the GM 6

Today, our newest program partner Xiaomi just launched Mi A1. This phone is a great example of what Android One represents: a collaboration between Google and our partners to deliver a software experience designed by Google. For example, users can capture moments in stunning detail on Xiaomi’s dual camera with 2X optical zoom. They can then seamlessly save unlimited photos at high quality with Google Photos. Mi A1 will be available in dozens of markets, including India, Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

All Android One phones are powered by a Google designed software experience that is:

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Simple and smart

  • Simple: All Android One phones consistently run a pure Android experience with a clean design and a small, carefully curated set of preinstalled apps.
  • Smart: The latest technology from Google is built right into Android One phones and core to the experience. For example, all devices will be optimized for the Google Assistant for a personalized experience. Google Photos will also be the default gallery for Android One phones to help users avoid running out of space, by providing free and unlimited storage of high quality photos and videos.

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Secure and fresh

  • Secure: With multiple layers of protection, Android One phones are kept safe and secure with regular security updates. Devices will also stay secure with Google Play Protect: built-in malware protection that keeps phones clean, fast and high-performing. 
  • Fresh: Android One devices will receive timely upgrades to the latest Android OS, so people can quickly gain access to the latest platform innovations on their device. Users of the new Mi A1 will receive an upgrade to Android Oreo before the end of the year and next year they will also be one of the first to receive an upgrade to Android P. 

Android One phones are Google endorsed devices that run a simple, fresh, and secure experience. We look forward to bringing more Android One partner phones to more consumers around the world. Check out android.com/one to learn more.





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Automatic protections in Android: Q&A with a security expert


Editor’s note: The Android security team works to keep more than two billion users safe, and with the release of Android Oreo, they’ve rolled out some new security protections. We sat down with Adrian Ludwig, Director of Android Security to learn about his team, their approach to security, and what Oreo’s new protections mean for people who use and love Android.

Keyword: Talk to us a bit about what your team does.

Adrian: We build security features for Android that help keep the whole ecosystem safe. Our software engineers write code that encrypts user data, helps find security bugs faster, prevents bugs from becoming security exploits, and finds applications that are trying to harm users or their information.  

How do you build these protections?

It starts with research. Because security is constantly evolving, our teams have to understand today’s issues, in Android and elsewhere, so we can provide better security now and in the future. Researchers in and out of Google are like detectives: they find new stuff, work to understand it deeply, and share it with the broader security community.

We then use those findings to make our protections stronger. We’re focused on tools like Google Play Protect and efforts like “platform hardening,” incremental protections to the Android platform itself. We’re also starting to apply machine learning to security threats, an early stage effort that we’re really excited about.

The final step is enabling all Android users to benefit from the protections. I’m really proud of the work our team has done with Google Play Protect, for example. Every day, it monitors more than 50 billion apps in Play, other app marketplaces, and across the web for potentially unsafe apps. If it finds any, we’ll prevent people from installing them and sometimes remove them from users’ phones directly. Users don’t need to do anything—this just works, automatically.

What are the challenges to protecting Android?

In security, we often talk about the trade-off between usability and protection. Sometimes, you can protect a device more effectively if there are certain things users can’t do on your device. And security is always much easier when things are predictable: for instance when all of the devices you are protecting are built the same way and can basically do the same thing.

But, Android security is different because the ecosystem is so diverse. The variety of use cases, form factors, and users forces us to be open-minded about how we should secure without limiting Android’s flexibility. We can’t possibly protect Android users with a single safeguard—our diversity of protections reflects the diversity in the Android ecosystem.

What are some of the new ways you’re protecting users in Android Oreo (not in robo- speak, please)?

Hang on, I gotta turn on Google Translate.

There are a … 0101100110 … sorry … a bunch! We’ve invested significantly in making it easier to update devices with security “patches,” fixes for potential safety problems, more commonly known as vulnerabilities. As a sidenote, you may have heard about “exploits.” If a vulnerability is a window, an exploit is a way to climb through it. The vast majority of the time, we’ll patch a vulnerability before anyone can exploit it. We have a project called Treble that makes it easier for us to work with partners and deliver updates to users. We want to close the window (and add some shutters) as quickly as possible.

We’ve also worked to improve verified boot, which confirms the device is in a known good state when it starts up, further hardened the Android kernel, which makes sure that hackers can’t change the way that code executes on a device, and evolved Seccomp which limits the amount of code that is visible to hackers.  Basically, we’re moving all the windows higher so any open ones are harder to climb through.

You announced Google Play Protect earlier this year. Tell us a bit about that and why it’s important for Android users?

For several years, we’ve been building “security services” which periodically check devices for potential security issues, allow Google and/or the user to review the status, and then use that information to protect the device. These services interact with Google Play in real-time to help secure it, hence the name “Google Play Protect.”

Our goal with Google Play Protect is to make sure that every user and every device has constant access to the best protections that Google can provide. Those protections are easy to use (ironically, for many people, Google Play Protect is so easy to use that they didn’t even know it was turned on!) and they benefit from everything Google knows about the security of Android devices.

Google Play Protect isn’t available just for users with Oreo — it guards any device with Google Play Services, running Android Gingerbread, or later.

Updates are a challenge with Android, especially in regard to security. Why is that so hard? What are you doing to improve it?

What makes Android so cool and unique—its flexibility and openness—also presents a really big security challenge. There is a broad and diverse range of devices running Android, operated by a complex collection of partners and device manufacturers around the world. It’s our responsibility to make it easy for the entire ecosystem to receive and deploy updates, but the ecosystem has to work together in order to make it happen. One approach to the problem is to make updates easier through technical changes, such as Project Treble. Another is to work with partners to better understand how updates are produced, tested, and delivered to users.  

What’s the toughest part of your job?

Prioritization. Often we need to balance researching super cool, extremely rare issues with more incremental maintenance of our existing systems. It’s really important that we are laser-focused on both; it’s the only way we can protect the entire ecosystem now and longer-term.

What’s your favorite part?

I’m amazed and humbled by how many people use Android as their primary (or only) way to connect to the internet and to the broader world. We’ve still got a ton of work to do, but I’m incredibly proud of the role my team has played in making those connections safe and secure.  

Ok, last question: How do you eat your Oreos?

In one bite. (But I can’t handle the Double Stufs).





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Android Oreo superpowers, coming to a device near you


Today, we are officially introducing Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest release of the platform–and it’s smarter, faster and more powerful than ever. It comes with new features like picture-in-picture and Autofill to help you navigate tasks seamlessly. Plus, it’s got stronger security protections and speed improvements that keep you safe and moving at lightspeed. When you’re on your next adventure, Android Oreo is the superhero to have by your side (or in your pocket!).

Android Oreo, to the rescue!

Ever try checking your schedule while staying on a video call?  Android Oreo makes it easy with picture-in-picture, letting you see two apps at once: it’s like having the power to be in two places at the same time! Overwhelmed by notifications, but missing the ones you care about the most? With Android Oreo, notification dots let you tap to see what’s new in your apps — like the important ones you put on your homescreen — and then take action on those notifications quickly.

Evildoers trying to get bad software onto your device? Android Oreo is more secure with Google Play Protect built in, security status front and center in settings, and tighter app install controls.  

Battery depleted and still galaxies away from a charger? Been there, too. Android Oreo helps minimize unintentional overuse of battery from apps in the background;  these limits keep your battery going longer.

Supersonic speed

When you’re on the go, speed is perhaps the most important superpower. With Android Oreo, you can get started on tasks more quickly than ever with a faster boot speed (up to twice as fast on Pixel, in fact). Once you’re powered up, Autofill on Android Oreo remembers things like logins (with your permission) to quickly get you into your favorite apps. Plus, support for Android Instant Apps means you can teleport directly into new apps, no installation needed.

League of extraordinary emojis

Even superheroes don’t go it alone. Android Oreo brings along a team of fully-redesigned emojis, including new emoji to help save the day like:

Coming to a device near you

We’re pushing the sources to Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access today. Pixel and Nexus 5X/6P builds have entered carrier testing, and we expect to start rolling out in phases soon, alongside Pixel C and Nexus Player. We’ve also been working closely with our partners, and by the end of this year, hardware makers including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Sharp and Sony are scheduled to launch or upgrade devices to Android 8.0 Oreo. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version. You can learn more at android.com/oreo.





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How Android and Pixel are changing the way musicians create


If you happened to go to Google I/O this year—or tune in to the live stream—the hour leading up to the keynote featured a fun surprise: the band Parisi, filling Shoreline Amphitheatre with a wall of sound, using just four Pixel phones and modular musical instruments called ROLI BLOCKS.

Parisi’s performance was powered by ROLI’s NOISE app, which launched in preview mode at I/O for Pixel and other high-end Android phones. NOISE and BLOCKS are intended for people with a range of musical expertise to play, but they depend on phones with powerful technology—including low audio latency, powerful and fast processing capabilities, and glitch-free audio. We’ve made a series of updates to Android recently to better support creative audio, with more coming in Android O. By introducing NOISE in beta on Android, ROLI became one of the first to take advantage of Android’s improved music-making possibilities—and Parisi became the first band to show them off.

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From left: Jack and Marco Parisi. Photo courtesy of Parisi.

We spoke to Marco Parisi about their performance at I/O, and how mobile technology like Android O, Pixel and NOISE is changing the way musicians create.

Keyword: How did you get involved with I/O?

Marco: Google was excited about the capabilities of its Pixel phone and Android for audio, and came to us with an ask… to open I/O 2017 with a live set. We’ve been working with ROLI, a company that makes digital musical instruments, for two years. ROLI has an app, NOISE, which lets you compose, mix and play music from a mobile device. Google wanted to know if we could use NOISE on Pixel to do a set live at I/O. We love to experiment and explore, so we said “yes.” They sent us the phones two weeks before the show!

Sounds like us. 😉 Was it intimidating to plan a whole set that way?

I wasn’t worried. Even though it can be uncomfortable to change the way you do something when you always do it in a certain way, we were excited to try something new.

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Parisi’s setup at Google I/O included four Pixel phones along with ROLI’s modular instruments: BLOCKS and Seaboard. Photo courtesy of Parisi.

How was the I/O set-up different from your normal sets? Did anything surprise you?

It was the first set we’ve done with just four phones. We’re used to using lots of laptops for our sets, so it was a challenge. But now that we’ve done it, we know we can actually make a proper set with phones—it’s realistic.

Ninety percent of the show was played live. You’re not just pressing play, either—you’re using the phone as a real music instrument, along with BLOCKS and Seaboard (a piano-like keyboard also made by ROLI). The magic is in the integration between the phone and the other technology we used to play. The phone is like an engine, and the other devices are so close to an acoustic instrument. It really changed our vision.

Has the I/O set changed anything about how you’re approaching future work?

The tracks we played at I/O haven’t been released—it’s stuff we’re working on for our upcoming album. While playing live on stage, I realized that I could have added a few different things. On the second or third try, we were adding things to the original track that were working—basically improvising. Now we’re gonna try those things in the same way but on the track—so what we did live at I/O is going to make it into the recorded version.

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Parisi performing at I/O. On the right-hand screen, you can see a ROLI BLOCK being played.

Digital technology is having a big effect on music. Tell us more about how you use tech in your art.

We’re in a new phase for music tech and creativity. Tech gives artists amazing flexibility to approach creating in new ways. We’re able to make different art that wouldn’t have been doable in a traditional studio setup—and changing your workflow has an impact on what you make.

You also spent some time exploring I/O itself. What did you think?

Working with everybody was cool. We were always connected with everybody over earpieces—from the sound guy to stage manager, really amazing people. One person started talking in Italian to us!

ROLI has a strong culture of collaboration and being passionate about what you do, and I felt the same thing at I/O. Joy is at the essence of what we do, and to see that in a company—like Google—is unique. You can really see that the world is changing and for us as musicians that’s amazing.





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Waze for Android Auto is here


You asked, we heard you, and it’s official: starting today, Waze is available for Android Auto.

If you have a car that supports Android Auto, you can now navigate with Waze via your vehicle’s in-car display, touch screens, steering wheel buttons, and other console-mounted controls.

The power of the Waze Community will be right there in the car with you (or at least on your screen). So you’ll not only find the fastest routes and most up-to-date road alerts, you’ll also be able to:

  • Navigate to all your most frequented destinations as pre-programmed in your Waze app in one tap—we’re talking home, work, and your Waze favorites.
  • Start any drive using the voice command “OK Google” to tell Waze where you want to go, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
  • Receive visual and audio alerts to keep you informed of what’s ahead and find the fastest routes on a larger map with bigger views of alerts, hazards, and more.
  • Access your personalized Waze experience from your phone on your car’s bigger screen.
  • Easily view your ETA Panel, which organizes everything you need in one place so you can seamlessly check alternate routes and adjust your sound settings.
  • Help other Wazers on the road by sharing accidents, road hazards or traffic jams through a visual reporting menu.

Getting started is easy. First, make sure you have the latest versions of both apps on your Android phone. Then, connect your phone with a cable to your car USB port, select Waze from the Navigation App footer, and start a drive by entering a location. Check out the Waze blog for more detailed instructions.

Our goal is to help users avoid traffic while providing the best possible driving experience. If you’re new to Android Auto, please share your experiences with the User Community.  We will continue to make improvements and bring new features to Android Auto to deliver a safe and seamless experience that is purpose-built for driving.

Waze for Android Auto is available in all countries where Android Auto is available. Integration of Android Auto on your phone screen is in the works, sign up to receive the latest news on Waze for Android Auto.





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