You can also lock and unlock access to the phone with one touch.
With Google Family Link, parents can set a daily limit for screen time. Parents can also see how much time their child spends on individual apps, and block specific apps.
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After seeing my kids spend close to an hour on YouTube Kids, for instance, I blocked it, which made the app disappear from the phone. Once I unblocked the app, it reappeared. Like Qustodio, Google Family Link also allows parents to set a bedtime, automatically shutting down access to the smartphone at the appointed hour. The only way to unlock the phone once it shuts down is through a parent access code, retrieved from the parent app, which expires five minutes after it was generated.
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Inside Google Family Link, parents can also require kids to seek approval for any in-app purchases, purchases in the Google Play store, or downloads of new apps. Note, however, that it blocks only in-app purchases of content such as a virtual sword; blocking does not apply to purchases of actual goods inside shopping apps. The app stopped us from purchasing gold coins in the digital pet game Pululu , but it did not prevent us from making a purchase in the Etsy app. Like all of the parental controls options we tested, Google Family Link blocks mature sites and content, but in this case, the default settings are set to mature and requires a parent to change them manually.
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Google says that the data it saves is used to improve its services. Once your child turns 13, they can opt out of Family Link. The reasoning, Google says, is that kids are allowed to sign up for their own account on Google once they turn Chen in a review. It could let the parent decide when the child has demonstrated safe, responsible smartphone use and graduate from all restrictions. That might happen when the child turns 13, 15 or even But the children should not be allowed to strip away settings just because they turn Our approach is to give parents and kids transparency, and encourage a family conversation around this moment.
Those emails inform both the parent and child of some of the changes that will take effect if the child decides to graduate. This is something we continue to get feedback on and will continue to consider the best approach. If your child is 13 or older and uses an Android phone, the paid version of Qustodio is your best bet. Discounts are frequently offered on its website. Unlike with Google Family Link, you use the same email account to set up the app on both devices.
Qustodio offers the most features and flexibility among the third-party parental-control apps we tested. The paid version allows you to set multiple schedules, limit overall phone use and specific app use, and block phone and app use. Keep in mind, though, that many experts warn that this level of monitoring is not actually good for kids. Qustodio also offers a free version, which can be used on one device. With it, parents can set a schedule and determine how much time—by minute increments, and up to 24 hours—their child spends on the phone daily.
The free version also includes reports for parents, as well as the Web filter, but little else. The paid version offers more insight and management tools. Qustodio is one of the few apps we tested that allow parents to set more than one schedule, an advantage over Google Family Link. On a grid, parents can block out the hours they want to shut off access to the phone, such as bedtime, during dinner or while the child is at school. In addition, the paid version of Qustodio allows parents to cap how much time their child spends on individual apps in minute increments—going a step further than simply blocking individual apps, like Google Family Link.
As with Google Family Link, parents can also turn off access to the phone with a single tap. Your child receives notifications when they reach the end of the time limit or when they try to access restricted content. Qustodio is one of the few apps we tested that allows you to set multiple schedules left. Like other parental controls, Qustodio aims to filter adult content, including by categories such as weapons, drugs, and alcohol. We did not test the filters extensively; in a quick search, we did find that we were blocked from purchasing whiskey, getting information on gummy edibles, and logging into dating sites such as Tinder and Scruff.
Finally, Qustodio is a good choice only for kids with Android phones. On the iPhone, the paid version of Qustodio is more limited: Although it can block a particular set of popular kids apps, such as Fortnite and YouTube, it cannot identify all apps on the iPhone. When our kids were playing Hatch , a digital pet game on the iPhone, for example, it could not stop them from playing it when time was up. The only way to stop our child from playing by using parental controls was to block access to the entire phone manually. Qustodio has a list of all of the apps it can monitor on the iPhone: as of this review, there are only about On the iPhone, Qustodio also repeatedly and inaccurately claimed that our child was visiting Amazon; Qustodio notes that its feed reports some third-party advertisements or content.
It kept reporting that my kid was using Facebook when the app is not even installed on his device.
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I went to the locations and saw who he was with and where he was going. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive exclusive monthly promotions you won't find on the website. Until now the only way to view your monitoring data was to find a computer and login. To solve this problem, we've come up with a mobile application that allows you to access your most useful data from your smartphone.
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