The Best Parental Control Apps for Smartphones and Tablets
Best App For Android devices: Norton Family Parental Control
Based on our research, Norton Family Parental Control is one of the most recommended options out there. The app received a 4.5 out of 5 rating and an Editor’s Choice selection from PCMag.com. It also got Editor’s Choice from Tomsguide.com who put the app through rigorous testing.
Most folks will recognize the name Norton, they’ve been around providing antivirus, computer, and Internet security applications since 1991. Those years of expertise are put to good work when developing their Family Parently Control software. This app is designed to keep your children safe while on the internet, block inappropriate content, enforce house rules, and enforce healthy habits. Norton achieves these goals through a variety of different options for the parents within the app.
The Norton Family parental control app offers the following features:
Search Supervision: Track your child’s search activities through the Norton browser in the Norton Family Portal
Web Supervision: Keep track of sites they visit and what they search for on the Norton browser or the Chrome browser, and set up rules to block access to certain kinds of content.
Parent Alerts: Get notified if the kids try to break a rule, so you can have a conversation about appropriate online activity and how to stay safe.
Location Supervision: Know your child’s whereabouts with the ability to pinpoint the location of their device on a map.
App Supervision*: See what apps your kids have installed and control which ones they can use.
Text Message Monitoring*: Choose who your kids can text and monitor messages.
Time Supervision*: Limit the amount of time your child uses the device.
Activity Report: Spot trends and emerging habits by reviewing a 30-day history of your child’s online activity in the Android parent app or the Norton Family portal.
Instant Lock: Grant or block access to all apps, browsers, games and more from the Norton Family portal when you need to enforce a break. Parents and kids can still connect to each other when the child’s device is in Lock mode.
*These features are only available through the monthly subscription cost explained below.
The Norton app offers a few features for free, but to make full use of the app and its features you are required to pay a monthly fee of $49. A price that we feel is suitable for the level of functionality offered by the app. Especially when compared to its competitors for protecting kids using Android devices.
In fact, we like the Norton Family parental control app that we would recommend it for iOS users if its full functionality is utilized on Apple devices. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and why we recommend FamilyTime for iOS users.
Best App for iOS devices: FamilyTime Parental Control App
We like FamilyTime because it’s the best app for iOS that has overcome Apple’s stringent access to some of the more basic and deeper functions of their devices. Thanks to a clever use of Mobile Device Management (MDM) your control abilities rival what the Norton app can do with Android devices.
The FamilyTime app offers:
App Blocker: Block any apps installed on their phones or tablets that you don’t want them to use by adding them to Blacklist app list.
SOS/Panic Button: One button touch sends a notification to the parent device with exactly GPS location and will respond to the child with a text informing them that you are on the way.
Limit Screen Time: Take control of when and for how long your kids can use their devices.
Teen Safe Drive: set an appropriate speed limit for your teenage drivers. The app will you notify you when they have exceeded those rates.
Watchlist Contacts: Add specific phone numbers to the watch list and be notified immediately any time that phone tries to communicate with your child.
TimeBank: Teach kids the importance of saving from an early start and let them keep minutes from their Daily Limit only to enjoy it later when they have free time. The more they save, the more they can enjoy.
FunTime: Minutes that they save from their Daily Limit can be utilized in FunTime – a timeframe that you can control. Encourage them to save more time during exams or weekdays so they can more FunTime during holidays or weekend.
Location History: View all the places they visited over a time period. Check all details like time and complete address to ensure their safety.
Places – Mobile Geofence: Create virtual Geo-fences around places you’d want to know about when they enter or leave and get push-notifications.
Family Map: Instantly check where all your family members are at the moment with pointers on the virtual map at a glance.
With FamilyTime you can purchase licenses that will cover one, two, or five devices. The cost for each tier is $27, $35, and $69 per year respectively.