Google family groups must include contact sharing
Now that my son is old enough to use his own Google Account for a few things like Google Play Books, Kids’ Movies, and even Play Games, I’ve spent some time going through all of my purchases on each service and cleaning them up so that my suggestions from my own account no longer included Baby Shark and Paw Patrol (although I love watching Paw Patrol with him!)
During the winter cleaning, I noticed that pretty much any data about him could be put in the right place – his account – so I didn’t have to own it anymore. However, a service provided by Google still required my fiancé and I to share data about our son, and that data could not belong exclusively to him.
Google Family Groups include several great cross-sharing features, such as the ability to share family shows on smart speakers to devices inside and outside the home, a payment method for purchases. , etc. However, for me and my household, we really appreciate these benefits:
Share entertainment and stay connected with those you love. Create a family group with up to six family members and get the most out of Google, together.
Your family on Google
- Google Play family library
- YouTube Premium Family Plan
- Google family calendar
- Family Dungeon
- Family link
- Google one
- Google Play Pass
- Google assistant
Anyone who is a parent will notice that a point of contention regarding data sharing for a child is missing from this list – Google Contacts. I can’t believe it took me so long to notice his absence, but that’s probably because as a company we’ve concluded that contacts are super private data that shouldn’t be shared, but that is simply not true.
Our son’s cardiologist, the general practitioner of well-being, etc. are all contacts that her mom and I keep up-to-date on our phones separately, and we’ve had a handful of times where either of us would take over with handling these relationships and forget to notify the other that someone’s phone number or details had changed.
This is only my humble opinion, but I think if Google is to be taken seriously for family use, it needs to provide more than just links of content consumption between individuals. It’s great to have our music, videos, books, etc. accessible to each other, but what about the things that really matter?
Even the family calendar seems limited. Why not allow families to share as many calendars as they want? We personally have many calendars for many things to keep everything organized, and we just don’t use the family calendar for that reason – it’s too narrow a scope to be useful! I won’t be doing this much more than Contacts for this article, but it brings up a larger point – family sharing has limits that need to be addressed.
Imagine having a list of icons shared between you and your significant other. Google could even implement a Drive-style sharing menu that allows any account holder to share one contact with another. Obviously, the privacy implications are that the person sharing said contact should have the contact’s permission, but Google services being so important, I’m not sure why an email couldn’t just be sent to this doctor or contact to have their approval shared with a family.
It all means a lot to me, especially in light of how popular and useful Google Workspace has been over the past year or so. Don’t even get me started on how simple contacts as a service are. Honestly, that’s a talk for another day, but I think it needs to evolve as a CRM, although I see how its simplicity is its charm for the masses. Let me know below if you’ve ever wanted to keep contacts up to date in your household and would like to see such a thing implemented on the Google side!