After months of trying out several parental control apps for my daughter’s smart phone I can finally comment on my favorite one….Screen Time!
I believe it is extremely important to not only be aware of what my children are doing online and with social media but it is also important to limit the amount of time they can be online! We have strict rules in this house about how much time can be spent staring at a screen.
I was really looking for an app that would most importantly keep my daughter safe. However, I really love anything that will help me be more efficient with my time, so I also wanted one that would save me time reminding her about phone usage and checking to make sure everything on her phone was appropriate for her age. This app does all of that and so much more!
My favorite feature of the Screen Time app is that I can set tasks that need to be done in order for her to earn time on her phone. This is super simple (another perk) and I am able to approve these tasks from my own cell phone, as well as on my computer. I simply get a text when the task is complete and then I approve it. When it gets approved, her time limit is automatically increased. I absolutely LOVE this feature because I no longer have to remind her what responsibilities need to be done such as: make your bed, clean your room, clean the bathroom and feed the pets. She WANTS more time on her phone so that is her motivation for getting these tasks done.
I also love that I can limit the apps she is using and the types of websites she can go on. As a mother, this gives me more peace of mind when she is using her phone. I can keep everything “age appropriate” with a simple click of a button.
Another cool feature is the “Bedtime Blocker” which allows me to set a designated time when all apps and website usage shut down. I can pick and choose if I want her to still have access to phone calls or texts, which is useful when she is babysitting.
Overall, I am REALLY pleased with this parental control app. The only complaint I have is that is not yet available for the Ipod Touch…I would love to limit my son’s time automatically too from one main app!
I contacted the developer of the Screen Time app recently and here is the background information he gave me:
My name is Steve Vangasse and I starting developing the original Screen Time app early in 2013 when I became concerned at the amount of time my three children were spending on their new tablets. I’d had enough of arguing over how much time they were spending on their tablets and trying to get them to do other activities. Like most parents, I didn’t like having to confiscate or hide their tablets. There had to be a better solution.
I looked for something that would allow me to not only monitor, but remotely manage the amount of time my children were spending on certain apps and games. I also didn’t want this to be all about restricting access, but something that could reward my children for managing their own time responsibly. I couldn’t find anything on the market, so I decided to build a solution myself.
The difference Screen Time made to family life was amazing. The kids really took to managing their time, and with the addition of the tasks feature, began to help around the house and finish their homework (ahead of time!).
I mentioned what I had created to a few friends who tried it with their own families and, very happy with the results, persuaded me to publish Screen Time on Google Play. That was last summer and things have really grown since then. We’ve added loads of new features and are building and planning many more. Everyday I am blown away by the positive feedback I get from customers.