Screen Time Review
With more than two million downloads and being a winner of 2019 National Parenting Product Awards, Screen Time is one of the best parental control programs currently available. As a concerned and loving parent, you will gain control of your child’s online activities and whereabouts. From setting time limits to controlling app usage, there are many things that you can do to restrict the digital behavior of your kids.
Is Screen Time worthy of all the accolades it is receiving? Is it worth a try? There’s only one way to answer this question – keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll be sharing.
How to Set Up Screen Time
The installation of Screen Time on compatible devices is pretty straightforward. The app is accessible on the app stores or on their website. Once you create an account, you will be asked to provide relevant details, including name, email address, and password. After that short process you will be given admin access. To link the device being monitored to the device used for monitoring, you will also need to input a five-character code. After signing up, you will have access to the web portal, and you can start monitoring your child’s gadget.
Screen Time – Family Filtering, Blocking, and Monitoring
Screen Time has a new cool feature that we liked which is called Instant Pause, this allows parents pause (like a DVR) their kids activity and get them to the dinner table or to school.
While Screen Time has an amazing web filtering capability, take note that as of the time of writing this review, this is only available for any Android version.
Filter Website Categories
This is one feature that is common in other top-rated parental control apps. What this means is that you can set a restriction on websites that your child can visit based on pre-defined categories. Some categories are restricted by default, such as alcohol and drugs, pornography, and violence. You can also select from a list of categories for setting additional restrictions, such as ads, politics, and religion.
If you want to be more specific on the contents that you don’t want your child to access, there is also an option to block specific URLs. You will need to type these URLs to restrict access. This can be quite time-consuming since you will need to input all the websites to block.
Screen Time keeps several records of your child’s online and offline activities, so you will know what he or she has been up to.
As expected, the app can store the web history of your child. By monitoring the websites being visited, you can act if there are URLs that you need to block. Only for Android
Aside from recording the websites that have been visited, you can also access the search terms that your child used in the past seven days.
Social Media Monitoring
Screen time focuses on leading social platforms but still misses few important once. You can monitor Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Unfortunately social monitoring is available only to Android users.
One of the best features of the Screen Time parental control app is the ability to create task for your kids and manage them from one place. The option to reward kids on good behavior with additional screen time seems to us like the perfect stick and carrot of our time.
Screen Time – Pros and Cons
- Have a password protection feature so kids can not uninstall;
- Daily summary reports;
- Assign tasks;
- Instant pause feature;
- Web filtering only on Android
- Location tracking only on Android
- No SMS and call monitoring;
- No messaging apps monitoring;
Screen Time – Mobile Support
With Screen Time, you can monitor a wide array of compatible devices. For iOS devices, you can use this app for monitoring iPhone, iPad, and iPod. You can also use it for monitoring Android phones and tablets, as well as Amazon Kindle.
If you are worried about where your child goes when you are not near them or when you cannot get in touch with your child, location tracking is one feature that will come handy. Good thing, Screen Time has a powerful location tracking feature.
You can see where your child is at the time being, although, this feature is limited to Android.
Aside from tracking the real-time location of your child, you can also set-up a geo-fence. Like location tracking, this is an exclusive feature to Android phones. This will give you an instant alert when your child arrives or leaves a specific location that you have earlier set.
This feature will be handy if you would like to know more about your kid’s whereabouts. This will give you an idea of the specific route that your child takes when going to school or any other place. You will know if there is any suspicious stopover where your child shouldn’t be.
Time Management With Screen Time App
Using Screen Time will allow you to manage the time kids spend using their smartphones or tablets. You can set a daily limit, which will restrict the time your kid spends using a certain app per day. When the limit has been reached, the app will be automatically disabled. There is also an Instant Pause feature, which is a quick way to pause your child’s device anytime you want, such as when they are eating or study
Here are the steps you should follow to set a limit using the app:
- Choose the account of the child to whom you would like to impose a limit.
- Scroll down to Setting and click Daily Limit.
- Select how long you would like your child to use apps. There are pre-determined choices, but you can also enter custom hours and minutes as you deem necessary.
- You can also set different limits depending on the days. For instance, you can set a longer screen time during weekends when they do not have classes.
Screen Time Pricing
It is free to sign-up at Screen Time. You will be a basic member and you can enjoy several features, such as monitoring app usage, receiving daily reports, and social media monitoring for Android.
If you want to unlock the full benefits of Screen Time, however, you will need to sign-up for their premium package, which is only $6.99 per month. This is one of the cheapest parental control software you will find online. This is even made better by the fact that you can monitor up to five devices with one account.
Not sure whether to sign-up or not? Take advantage of the 14-day trial that Screen Time is offering.
If this is an expensive solution check out our selection of free parental control apps and their reviews.
In sum, Screen Time is a great parental control software. It is affordable compared to many of its competitors, yet it does not compromise its features. However, while it is capable of doing many things, take note that a lot of its features are exclusive to Android despite having support for iOS and Kindle.