Comcast has deployed its first major update for its xFi Wi-Fi management app, adding several new features.
Adding to parental controls, Comcast has developed “Timed Pause,” which lets users disable their Wi-Fi networks for 30-minute, one-hour, two-hour or indefinite periods.
“We think it will be a convenient option for parents who want to get their kids to go outside and play, clean their rooms, or go read a book instead of staring at a screen,” said Eric Schaefer, senior VP and general manager of communications, data and mobility services for Comcast, writing on the cable company’s corporate blog.
Parental controls for xFi have also been enhanced to include protective search settings for Google, Bing and YouTube. The feature clicks on the “safe search” or restricted mode settings for each of the aforementioned platforms.
“Doing so helps limit access to inappropriate or mature images, videos, and search results, which should give parents more peace of mind that their younger children are only looking at age-appropriate content online,” Schaefer said.
Meanwhile, a new “Notification Center” feature alerts users when a new device signs onto their network. “For example, if children have friends over and a new iPad or Android phone logs onto the Wi-Fi network, the parent will see an update in the notification center and can either assign that device to one of their children’s profiles or assign it to the Guest profile,” Schaefer added. “Notifications don’t only apply to devices. They can also provide alerts about any changes impacting network access such as a change to the Wi-Fi password or to the name of the Wi-Fi network."
Comcast announced its cloud-based, smart-home network solution in January and made it available to the 10 million customers who have XB3 gateways for no additional charge in May.