In today’s other sunsetting news, Chrome is deprecating its Supervised Users feature, which was in beta and allowed you to have Chrome users under your profile but with limited access to certain features – think young children and teenagers. Google emailed users who had set up Supervised Users to let them know that starting January 12, they won’t be able to create or import supervised users, and three days after that, the management dashboard won’t allow them to change any settings for their existing supervised users.
Here’s the full email, in case you haven’t received it yet:
Important update on Chrome Supervised Users
We’re writing to you because you created a Chrome Supervised User in the past. Since we launched Chrome Supervised Users in beta preview over four years ago, Chrome and the way we use computing devices have evolved significantly.
We’ve learned a lot in these four years, and heard feedback about how we can improve the experience for you and your children. Based on this feedback, we are working on a new set of Chrome OS supervision features specifically for the needs of families to launch later this year.
As we evolve our offering we will be deprecating the current supervised user program. Starting January 12, 2018 you will no longer be able to create or re-import supervised users. You will be able to use existing Chrome Supervised Users on Chromebooks, Windows, Mac and Linux. Starting January 15, 2018 remote supervision at chrome.com/manage will no longer be available and you will not be able to change browsing restrictions for existing supervised users. The list of supervised users you currently manage can be found at chrome.com/manage.
If you’re interested in supervised usage of the web browsing experience for your child, Google recently launched Family Link*, which allows you to create a Google Account for your child and manage their browsing experience in Chrome on Android. Learn more here.
*currently available in the United States, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.
That leaves me annoyed to no end, to be honest. Family Link is only available in a few countries, so what do we do if we don’t live in the US or the 3 other lucky countries? It’s easy to say switch to Family Link, but it’s tough to do so when it’s not even possible with your current account. And what’s the hold-up on that, Google? I don’t see any reason why this isn’t available worldwide. The good news is that Chrome OS should be introducing new supervision features “later this year,” which I hope will be available to everyone, not just a couple of countries.
Alright, with that said, you can use the next 5 days to manage your supervised users at chrome.com/manage and read more about moving supervised users to their own accounts in case you want to go that route.