May 01, 2013

How to restrict use of smartphone?

I know the, "tell him not to use it then" advice, but teenagers being teenagers, that simply isn't realistic, and he needs to be able to reach us because of his participation in many after school activities, so taking it away isn't a good choice either. What's the best android parental control app -- one that gives you the most comprehensive time scheduling functionality, that controls all features of the phone (a Samsung Galaxy S2), from calls and texts to internet and app use?

This article has some good suggestions:


"The world of Android can be an incredibly educational and fun place for your children. Entrusting a smartphone or tablet to a child is the best way your little one can learn about technology. However, if you're going to hand over that Android, you need to ensure the content on it is safe for their eyes. So today we're offering a run-down of the best parental control apps for Android, to make sure your device provides a safe environment for your child to grow and learn."

There are a few different apps available: Qustodio, Funamo, Kytephone, Parental Control Board (the one that I like, but only because it's initials sound all hard core in a made-for-TV movie sort of way). They are all on Google Play, just read the reader reviews, and I suggest paying particular attention to the reviews by folks with the same phone as you. I've actually never tried any of them, so I can't give any advice on which is good/better/best.


Another thing you can do is check out his Google Activity report, assuming you have access to his Google Account. This can give you insight in how he is using his time, if you don't mind being Big Brother in a fatherly creeper sort of way.  


Your carrier may also be able to place restrictions on smartphone use. I know with certainty that T-Mobile can do this, but I've talked to at least one parent how was not happy with the service and found it essentially useless. He's hard to please, though, so it might still be suitable for your needs. 

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