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10 Android Parental Control Apps

| April 30, 2014 | Comments (4)
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I have received a number of requests from parents looking for solutions to make sure their child’s Android devices are family-friendly ready and safety-enabled. Unlike iOS on Apple mobile devices, Android does not offer any significant parental control capabilities, so third-party apps are a must. There are countless apps in the Android marketplace, so selecting the right app for your needs can be overwhelming. The available parental control apps allow parents to filter adult content, restrict app purchases, set limits on usage time, and even monitor calls, texts and web activity. Here’s a list of some of the best Android apps for parental controls that the Yoursphere For Parents editorial team has tested and recommend you use:

Kids Placekidsplace
Kids Place is an app launcher that opens a fully customized interface, catered to children with only the apps you select, and options to filter out other apps. It also blocks the installation of apps, in app purchases, and access to the Android marketplace. Both opening and closing the app Kids Place requires a 4 digit passcode, ensuring that your child does not gain free-reign on the device. This app is ideal for younger kids who would likely not need the “smartphone” functions, and instead, would use the device for educational apps or digital entertainment.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – Yes
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – Yes
Time Restrictions Available – No
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Kids

Price:
Free

MMGuardianMMguardian
The MMGuardian app allows parents to set restrictions on app usage, time use, calls/texts, and even prevents texting while driving. This app is much more ideal for a young teen who has their own Android device.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – No
Time Restrictions Available – Yes
Prevents Texting While Driving – Yes
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Teens

Price:
Free 14-day trial: All features of the application are functional
Subscription: $3.99 monthly or $34.99 annually
Purchase: $49.99

Famingofamigo
Famigo lets the user create a “sandbox” environment of specific apps and restricts access to the Android store. The app also includes Famigo Wowzer, a browser designed for kids with integrated content filtering. Like Kids Place, this app is ideal for younger kids who would likely not need the “smartphone” functions of the device, simply educational apps or digital entertainment.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – Yes
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – Yes
Time Restrictions Available – No
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Kids

Price:
Free 7-day trial: Full functionality during trial
Subscription: $0.99/month, includes child safety lock, kids videos, and kid-safe web browser
Plus Subscription: $4.99/month basic features plus additional kids apps and educational games.

Net Nannynet nanny
Net Nanny allows for browser restrictions, as well as app management, via remote access. Meaning, the app’s restrictions can be managed either on the device itself or configured remotely through a computer’s web browser. This app is ideal for controlling the content accessed by a mobile device, particularly one in the hands of a teen.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – Yes
Time Restrictions Available – Yes
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Kids

Price:
Free 14-day trial: Fully protects your Android device
Subscription: $12.99/year for one device

Funamofunamo
Funamo Parental Controls allows parents to monitor, as well as filter, activity on an Android device. It has a child-safe browser function and can also filter content in other Android browsers. In addition, the app has monitoring capability for texts, calls and usage time.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – Yes
Time Restrictions Available – Yes
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Teens

Price:
Free 2-day trial: Full functionality of app
Purchase: $19.99

Screen Timescreen time
Screen Time is an app oriented around setting time limits and monitoring, as well as limiting specific app usage. It has an integrated reward program in which kids can earn usage time by completing tasks such as chores, homework, or musical instrument practice. There is also a partner app that allows parents to manage settings from their own device. Note that this app does not have any content filtering functions, and it is recommended to pair this app with a content filtering browser such as Safe Browser (mentioned below).

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – Yes
Time Restrictions Available – Yes
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Teens

Price:
Free

Norton Familynorton
Norton Family allows for monitoring of device browser activity and restriction of inappropriate sites. Additional features are text message monitoring and app restrictions.
Feature availability depends on which version of the app you choose.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – No (settings apply to most Android browsers)
Time Restrictions Available – No
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Teens

Price: Comes in both free and paid versions.
Free:
– See which websites kids visit and filter inappropriate websites
– Receive email notifications when your kids attempt to violate the content filters

Paid: $49.99
– Keep an eye on the apps your kids download and block use of specific apps
– Receive a 90-day history of your child’s online activity
– Get monthly or weekly email reports to give you a better understanding of how much time your kids spend on the computer and what they’re looking at online
– Monitor texts sent and received by the device

Safe Browsersafe browser
Safe Browser is a browser app designated to filtering out adult web content and enabling parents to set their own custom lists of restricted websites. This app can be used simultaneously with an app such as ScreenTime, or any parental control app that does not feature a built in browser or filter content accessed by other Android browsers.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – No
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – No
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – Yes
Time Restrictions Available – No
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Teens

Price:
Free

AppLockAppLock
Although not explicitly categorized as “parental control”, AppLock allows the user to password protect certain apps, the Android store, and the device’s settings. The functionality is similar to the capabilities of iOS parental settings. It can also be used to lock a device’s “calling” function to prevent any surprises on your mobile phone bill.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – Yes
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – Yes
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – No
Time Restrictions Available – No
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Teens

Price:
Free

Toddler Locktoddler lock
As the title suggests, this app functions as a screen lock for your device while letting your young child doodle creatively on a blank screen “drawing board” with a variety of colors and shapes. This app will protect your phone from being accidentally unlocked by a younger child but does not filter or restrict any specific apps.

Summary:
Adding Apps Controlled by Parent – No
Ability to Turn Off In-App Purchasing – No
Ability to Control Access to Marketplace – No
Browser Built-In to Filter Content – No
Time Restrictions Available – No
Prevents Texting While Driving – No
Ideal for Kids or Teens – Toddlers

Price:
Free

As you’ve read, these apps vary regarding their capabilities, and as recommended, you may prefer to use a combination of apps for a complete solution. For example, using Safe Browser and Screen Time would be an effective means of controlling content filters as well as usage.

These apps will prompt you to create a password/pin to protect the settings, preventing your child from making changes. It is crucial that you make the password/pin something your child will not be able to guess, otherwise the app will no longer be useful. Note that if your child or teen does a “factory reset” of the device, it will erase all the downloaded apps and the associated restrictions. Although it does seem like an extreme measure simply to remove parental restrictions, be prepared that your child can do this. This is a good time to have an agreement with them so that they understand they will lose their access to the device if they don’t follow family rules regarding the responsible and safe use of these fantastic devices.

To download these apps, each product title is a hyperlink to the app’s page in the Google Play store in your browser. They can also be downloaded by searching the app name in the Google Play store on the device. (ie Search: “Screentime” to find that particular app)

INFORMATION CREDIT TO TOM’S GUIDE.

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Comments (4)

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  1. James says:

    MMGuardian now supports web filter

  2. Matteus says:

    Thats some great advice, there are also some good info at http://www.parentalcontrolnow.com which I put together. Parental controling is getting more and more important in this crazy world.

    Have a great day!

  3. Afonso Alves says:

    Program Parental Control: http://www.safeparentalcontrol.com/
    I highly recommend it, 5 stars.

    An exclusive panel to control all activities of your children.

    See remotely devices of your children in real time.

    By selecting the Advanced or Family Plan you can track SMS / MMS that were sent and received from the devices of your children and can also follow the call history.

    Protect your computer and browser of your children, allowing time intervals navigation.

    You can track the browsing history and set content filters for each device that your child uses.

    Timeline gives you an overview of your child’s activity on all devices.

    When selecting a family or Advanced you can track the GPS location of the device of your child.

    For more info send me message.

  4. Billy says:

    The list would not be complete without Screentime Ninja:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=screentime.ninja

    Unlike the conventional parent control apps, this one blocks the device after a pre-set amount of time and lets the kid earn more time by solving math. So all that tremendous and under-used motivational force doesn’t go to waste, but rather re-directed to a better cause.

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