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Boomerang

    • Supporting platforms – Only android and iOS
    • Activity Record – Text messages, calls and apps.
    • Notifications –  Can trigger notification based on specific keywords. Summary data, notifications and usage reports
    • Blocking and Filtering – Restrict calling to known contacts, block incoming calls, block or schedule individual apps.
    • Ease of use – Easy to install and set up
    • Extra services – Integrated safe browser, history viewer, block other browsers from being used
4.0 rating based on 1 rating
$15.99

By parentalguru


Boomerang Review

Introduction

Boomerang (www.useboomerang.com) is a parental controls app that works on both Android and iPhone/iOS devices.  It comes with a powerful suite of different options to help monitor and control the screen time, usage, contacts, apps, and other aspects of your child’s smartphone use.  Boomerang parental controls augment native device features, with powerful, interactive, real-time options that parents can manage from their own devices.  It’s designed to act as a parental control and security/protection system for kids who have their own smartphones, with varying degrees of control and intrusiveness/privacy depending on the age and maturity level of the child, and the comfort level of the parent.  We’ll discuss the features and other aspects of the Boomerang app in our review below. 

How to Set Up Boomerang

The process of setting up the Boomerang app varies considerably between Android and iPhone/iOS devices, largely due to the different system architectures and the way they handle permissions.  Detailed setup instructions are provided on the Boomerang website, so we’ll stick with a general guide to the process here.

 

  1. Download the Boomerang app from the relevant store for your device/operating system to your (parent) device.
  2. Create a new account and group name/ID through the app.
  3. Choose “Parent Mode” for that device, and you’re all set on that front.
  4. Now, on the child’s device, download the app, and set it up for Child Mode. Use the group name/ID you created and your chosen email address to associate it with your account.  Choose the different app permissions, time limits, and other settings you want to setup for your child.
  5. Once you finish the setup process, the device will be accessible for management and monitoring through your device in the Parent Mode version of the app that you downloaded and setup in the first 3 steps.

Communication monitoring

Boomerang offers a number of categories of features for filtering content, blocking contact, content, and apps, and monitoring what your child does, and who they are talking to or interacting with on their smartphone.  The full range of features varies slightly between the Android and iPhone/iOS versions, with the Android version having far more features based on the way in which the system permissions function.  In general, though, the feature categories that are available in both versions of the app include:

 

  • Screen Time (allow certain amounts of time only, certain hours based on Boomerang schedule settings, limit by app, create punitive “time outs,” etc.)
  • App Controls (block or schedule individual apps, set limits at app level)
  • Safe Browsing (integrated safe browser, history viewer, block other browsers from being used, edit and whitelist/blacklist blocked site categories, add specific sites to be blocked)
  • Location Tracking (using GPS data, you can geofence your child to a certain map area or radius, review location history, get updated location reports, and notifications)
  • Family Messenger (group chat functionality, app installation requests)
  • Text Messaging (review text messages and contacts, trigger notifications based on certain keywords, screen by phone number/contact info, etc.)
  • Phone (similar features to text messaging – review call logs, restrict calling to known contacts, block incoming calls except from specific numbers, etc.)
  • Device Security (prevent uninstallation of the software on the child’s device, prevent date and time change manipulation for schedule/screen time limits, etc.)
  • Device Reporting (summary data, notifications, usage reports, etc.)
  • Mobile Parent Mode (change many settings on the fly from your own smartphone or tablet, and administrate/access reports/etc.)

Location Tracking

Location Tracking  is available with Boomerang. Using GPS data, you can geofence your child to a certain map area or radius, review location history, get updated location reports, and notifications.

Boomerang Pros and Cons

There are naturally several pros and cons associated with choosing the Boomerang app as your parental control suite.  As with most of these kinds of software packages, the tradeoffs are often an individual decision that parents will have to make based on their particular concerns, to find the app that is right for their child/children.

 

Pros:

  • Very comprehensive suite of features, with individual controls for every app or activity on your child’s smartphone
  • Active, notification/chat/tracking/etc. type of setup with the Boomerang app, compared to many other parental control programs that are more passive and limited to settings adjustments only
  • More feature-packed than many competitor apps on the market
  • Incredibly affordable pricing plans

 

Cons:

  • iPhone/iOS feature set is not as complete as for Android devices (though that’s no fault of Boomerang)
  • Some argue that providing full windows into text, search history, browsing history, call history, and so on is invasive and inappropriate at any age
  • Detailed level of settings can overwhelm less tech-savvy users or those who are just looking for a quick install with everything basically done for them
  • Requires an annual subscription, as the only free option is a limited 14-day trial

Mobile Compatibility

The suite of features available in the Boomerang parental control app is fully realized on Android devices, because of the more open and customizable infrastructure that Android uses.

Apple has much greater limitations on the level of controls that apps are allowed to access within the operating system, which limits the integration of many parental control functions from outside apps, including those of Boomerang.

As a result, only a subset of features in each category discussed above are available on iPhone or iOS-based tablets.  The company has a full list of features, with indications if they are available only in Android, only in iPhone/iOS, or both, on their website, which you can find here.

Pricing

New users of Boomerang can sign up for a free 14-day trial, after which they will need to choose from one of two pricing plans.  These are segregated based on the number of devices you intend to use with the Boomerang service.  Specifically:

  • A single child device (and parent device) is $15.99/year, renewed annually.
  • The family pack allows for up to 10 devices, and is $30.99/year, renewed annually.

As a nice bonus, you can pay for the service via an in-app purchase in the app, rather than requiring separate payment through the website or other payment portal.

boomerang pricing

Conclusion

Our bottom line on Boomerang is fairly consistent with most other Boomerang reviews that are out there – it’s a quality parental control app that has a lot of features and is highly affordable.  If you have Android devices, and a child or children with smartphones, then there’s no real reason not to give the Boomerang app a try.  For iPhone and iOS, while the feature sets are a bit more limited, this is a function of Apple – the same limitations that exist for Boomerang exist for other similar apps, so it’s also worth giving the software a try.  Boomerang will help your child stay safe in the digital world, for pennies a day, with full control and oversight by you.

 

Watch this Boomerang parental control software review to learn more about how to set up Boomerang

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Boomerang