Android is one of the most common operating systems used on mobile devices today. Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, Google Pixel, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Sony, and many more companies all use Android OS. Thankfully, the developers behind Android along with most app developers continue to add valuable parental controls. These Android parental controls (listed below) have come in handy for parents who want to keep their child safe on their Android device.
*Note: Some of the parental controls listed below are only available on certain Android operating systems.
The App timers feature allows anyone to place limits on how much time an app can be used per day. For parents, this feature is especially useful in preventing cell phone addiction and the overuse of social media and games. However, any timers that are set are reset every day at midnight.
Do you want your child to stay focused while doing school work or playing sports? With Focus Mode, you can activate it when you don’t want your child to use certain apps. When you create a new focus mode, you can name it and select the app(s) you only want them to use. All you have to do to activate the mode is to press Start.
It’s been known that cell phone use can cause a lack of sleep in children. Using Wind Down, you can create a scheduled time when your child’s phone turns to grayscale or blocks app notifications. By having the screen less colorful and no phone notifications, children are more likely to go to sleep on time.
Google Play Store
Using the Play Store parental controls, parents can decide the type of content their child has access to. This includes tv shows, movies, books, music, apps, and games. The content restrictions available depends on the content. For example for apps and games, parents can choose content up to Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature 17+, Adults only 18+, and Allow all including unrated. By selecting the appropriate category, you can prevent your child from viewing inappropriate and adult content.
Google Family Link
Google Family Link is a free all-in-one parental control app used to keep kids safe on their phone. It’s compatible with most devices running on Android, including tablets and Chromebook. The features available on this app include:
- Finding their phone’s most recently recorded GPS location.
- View how much app activity they have had: Today, Yesterday, Last 7 days, and the Last 30 days.
- Set screen time limits.
- Set bedtime hours.
- See what apps your child has recently installed.
- Access Google Play parental controls including approval for store purchases.
- Filter out any mature sites on Google Chrome.
- Turn on SafeSearch for Google Search.
- Activate YouTube Restricted Mode to protect your child from viewing videos with mature content in them.
Android Parental Control App
Other than the free tools listed above, you could choose to use an Android parental control app. These apps go beyond Google Family Link in several ways. For example, these apps can intercept a child’s text message, private messages, social media activity, photos, videos, emails, and more. Sometimes, parents are even able to remotely lock a child’s phone in the event they are grounded or the phone is lost or stolen.
Along with the Android features and parental control apps listed above, many apps have features which cater to parents. For example, many social media platforms require that kids who join be 13-years-old and up. It’s important that all parents do their research pertaining to privacy, security, and parental controls before giving their child an Android smartphone.