Searching for Parental Control Apps that Work
When I looked on the internet for parental control apps, I was shocked at how poor the information about the apps were, and how little few legitimate reviews were available. I knew that searching for parental control apps that work was going to be a more difficult task that I realized.
The first app I attempted to use was (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appgranula.kidslauncher) — aka “Parental Control Shell”.
However, each time one of the approved apps updates itself, it is blocked again! And the parent must again approve the “updated” app — a real pain in the ass when you consider that games update constantly.
The program is best described as “buggy”. Take that for me being nice and saying that it doesn’t work! It often bounced out of control and into open mode allowing my kids to access, store and change programs they weren’t authorized for. It locked them out most of the time — but not all.
The built-in tracking uses “pins” which I don’t understand. All I know is that this didn’t work either. If I was lucky, it would update their location once per week. Sometimes they would be standing with me where I live, and their phones would indicate that they were still many miles away at their home.
You are supposed to touch the pin location and get the latest time updated. I would do that and it would show a recent time. Then an hour later, the app would report that there had been no tracking for 12 hours.
As a tracking app, THIS DOES NOT WORK.
I forgot to mention, that the parent remote control app is here (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appgranula.parentalcontrol&source=launcher) and is a great concept — too bad it is a failure.
This app didn’t have all the things I hoped to obtain (as listed in the previous post) so I combined it with a few other apps, such as:
BLOCK U (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wgi.block_u): I installed this app to prevent unapproved outbound sms by using whitelist. However it failed by allowing a reply to a message received even if not on the whitelist. It did prevent any other outbound messages to numbers I didn’t store and approve in the phone. This app has some interesting features and I don’t declare it to be a total failure.
LOSTNET FIREWALL (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lostnet.fw.free): I installed this app to block the use of certain programs unless on wifi. For example, in order to conserve data use, I blocked youtube unless they were connected to wifi and not data. But overall the program didn’t work.
Every time the phone rebooted and at various other times, LOSTNET (through Android) would pop up a warning confirming that you wanted to use the lostnet vpn. There was no way to answer this question YES PERMANENTLY. That meant you had to depend on your children to hit the YES button each time. I’m sure you can imagine just how long that lasted. Plus, I found that it could not control certain applications (facebook/facebook messenger; and youtube when accessed through facebook and short urls, for example).
In the end, I knew this entire setup was not going to work and I had to re-think my plans. I uninstalled everything and threw away all my current ideas.
It was time to search for spy apps that work because I was losing faith in parental control apps.