Pricing – First month is free; Six months $24.99; 12 months $39.99. There are some decent free apps for parental control out there, but paying for one is going to give you the better platform – personal opinion. No limit on how many kids and/or devices, so you can have Child 1 iPad, Child 2 iPad, Child 2 iPhone, etc.
This app is currently only available for iOS – or Apple users. It is not cross compatible with Android as a parent phone and child with an iPod, iPad or iPhone. I am working to track down a parent blogger that might be interested in a guest author post about Android. In the meantime, I have included some links below that will at least provide some insight and possible solutions.
I LOVE THIS APP! It allows me to control whether there is access to the internet, camera, apps, iTunes store and even FaceTime. Take a look at the photo(s) below and descriptions to see how this app works.
This is how her screen typically looks. Little miss organized. So glad this post doesn’t require a screen shot of my home screen – it is a parenting fail! I have to swipe down on a blank area and utilize the search function to find my apps at times. On this screen you can see ‘App Store’; ‘Video’ folder, which includes Netflix and YouTube; and ‘Social’ folder, which includes Snapchat, musical.ly, Instagram, and a few others. On the iPhone Dock (the four icons at the bottom) you will see ‘Phone’, ‘Safari’ (Apples default internet browser), ‘Messages’, and ‘Clock’.
Now we jump to Parent Kit and see what this baby can do!
Open the app and log in. You will immediately see a list of your kids. If they have more than one device, you can add the device to their names during set up. Select a kid. And start ruining their day! LoL
Here is a list of everything you can control. Child Safe Mode is set to off. This will let you turn all apps off in one setting. Parent Kit considers Safari, Applications, Media, and Camera as apps. The next section allows you to choose rating content for downloads. As you can see, we have Movies set to 14A – it means age 14 and under. This only controls movies through the iTunes store, not anything on Netflix or other movie streaming apps. Those settings are found within those services. The last section, ‘Restrictions’, allows you to choose which content or services you want this device to have restricted. Blue means the service is allowed. Just the white dot, see ‘Bookstore Erotica’, shows this is restricted content and will not be able to be downloaded to this device through iBooks. Again, this does not pertain to Kindle or other reading apps.
Choosing any of the four ‘Individual Apps’ will bring you to this screen. You then have the choice to schedule access and provide times that apps will be on. There are individual days, weekdays and weekends. I implement this during the school year. Apps are allowed on for 1/2 an hour in the morning, one hour after school and one hour in the evening after dinner before bed. You can also use the ‘Turn off Applications’ button to just turn them off. When returning to allow, the button will read ‘Turn on Applications’. If extra time is allowed, I just tap the schedule access button and the apps will remain on until I come back in and schedule access. You will not lose your schedule settings by toggling this option off and on. When you are done with setting up a schedule or turning the apps off, don’t forget to ‘Save’ in the upper right corner. Return to kid detail. If you are not using the Child Safe Mode, repeat this for each of the remaining three applications. When completely done choose save on the main screen. I then make sure to close the app on my phone to be sure the settings are saved and so the app doesn’t remain open.
For the purpose of this blog, I turned off Applications and Safari.
This is a screen shot of the same home screen shown above, but with the restrictions I enabled. Any third-party app, that is one that does not come installed on iPhone/Pod/Pad will no longer be visible. Notice the non-existent third row. No ‘App Store’ the ‘Video’ folder is gone because it contained all third-party apps. The same with the ‘Social’ folder.
Look closely at the ‘Important’ folder in this photo vs. the top one. The two icons missing are Google Photos and The Weather Channel. Both of those are third-party apps. Safari access, via the Dock is also gone. All that can be done at this time is reading any current iBooks, making/receiving FaceTime calls, making/receiving phone calls and sending/receiving iMessages and texts. When she is at school, if they are offered green zone for phones at lunch or any other time of day, she will text me and ask if I can turn them on. Depending on my mood and what I am in the middle of at work, I may or may not turn them on. LoL. I’m kidding. I usually do as long as she asks nicely.
Obviously there are several things you can’t restrict, but if you are looking for total control over every aspect of their device, maybe you aren’t ready to let them have one or don’t feel they are responsible enough to handle it right now. But when that time comes, you will at least have some basic knowledge of how you want to handle it.
* I was not offered any compensation by Parent Kit for this post, nor will I receive any compensation for anyone that chooses to sign up with this service. This was strictly my opinion. And it is so irritating sometimes to not know exactly how something works before actually signing up.