Google Chrome to get parental controls with 'supervised accounts'

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Chrome has been supporting multiple user accounts with individual settings for a while, but the popular browser is now set to introduce a new less-privileged type of account to enable parental controls. Code in the latest Canary build, as spotted by Browser Fame, describes this as ‘supervised accounts’ and includes a few hints of how parents can use this to grant kids limited and controlled access to the web.

In a nutshell, parents can create a supervised user account and place a link for it on the desktop. The account will be tied to the manager’s Google account and a dedicated webpage will allow him to configure any restrictions and settings. If everything is left untouched the supervised user will have access to all sites by default.

Google is still working on the user interface, backend and flow for this new feature. Although most of the functionality isn’t there at this stage, Canary build users can head to the chrome:flags page and enable the experimental feature by checking Enable supervised users and Enable new profile management system.

The feature might also be used for Chromebooks as Google pushes its cloud-centric devices to the educational industry. It’s unclear what the full scope of supervised accounts will be, and when we’ll see this in the beta and stable Chrome release channels since not every feature is graduated at the same time.

Last week we also heard about several touch friendly features being tested in Chrome’s experimental build. Among them were slide to navigate, pinch to zoom, and support for Window 8’s on-screen keyboard.

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