Google Play Services 20.12.14 hints at letting parents create a secondary lockscreen for kids

Google Play Services 20.12.14 hints at letting parents create a secondary lockscreen for kids

It has been just over a month since Google released the first developer preview of Android 11. It’s needless to say that both of the currently released builds have a lot to changes over Android 10, including a new one-time permission use, notification history, and so on. Though we already covered most of the user-facing and under-the-hood changes in Developer Preview 1 and the newer Developer Preview 2, there is still a lot of new APIs that we’ve been keeping an eye on. One of them is the DevicePolicyKeyguardService API, which is intended for providing a secondary lockscreen to the SystemUI. We initially thought this was intended only for enterprise use due to the device admin requirement, but we discovered another potential use as a new parental control tool for Family Link.

A new service we dug up in the Manifest file of Google Play Services 20.12.14 suggests that we may soon see a first-party integration of this API. The name of this service, “com.google.android.gms.kids.SecondaryLockscreenService,” leads us to believe that Family Link will be the one taking advantage of it. We can make an educated guess that Google will let parents set up a secondary lockscreen for their kids, which will then display information different from the main one. The API documentation mentions that the implementation must be provided by a device admin app, which Google Play Services satisfies. The boolean “platformAtLeastR” in the service suggests that this feature will only be available for devices running Android 11 and above.

<service android:enabled="@bool/platformIsAtLeastR" android:exported="@bool/platformIsAtLeastR" android:name="com.google.android.gms.kids.SecondaryLockscreenService" android:permission="android.permission.BIND_DEVICE_ADMIN" android:process="com.google.android.gms.ui" chimera:autoEnabled="false">
    <intent-filter>
        <action android:name="android.app.action.BIND_SECONDARY_LOCKSCREEN_SERVICE"/>
    </intent-filter>
</service>

Keep in mind that even though the service is present in the Manifest of Google Play Services, we didn’t find any strings or assets pertaining to the feature. Similarly, the latest version of Family Link did not have any details about this feature. This probably means that the feature is in an early development stage so we will have to wait for it to be fleshed out more. I think we’ll see more details of the feature soon after the arrival of the Android 11 stable release, though.

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George Burduli
George Burduli

Love everything about Android. I'm an enthusiast, blogger, and a future developer. Direct enquiries to: [email protected]