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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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