Google, Apple, and even Facebook offer up tools to help individuals and families keep tabs on their device and app usage, and even wireless carriers have their own options to do the same thing.
Device and app addition are real, and while companies may have been slow to address the issue, it appears to be an all-hands-on-deck situation now. Apple, for instance, has its own usage dashboard called Screen Time that rolled out with iOS 12. Google has its Digital Wellbeing effort for Android, and Instagram recently (finally) launched its own usage dashboard to help folks curb their usage of the photo- and video-sharing platform.
AT&T has had an app to offer parental controls for quite some time, but now the big blue wireless network is sunsetting that first version called Smart Limits, and launching a brand new app called “Secure Family”. The new app launches on Monday, November 26, and it will cost $7.99 per month to monitor up to 10 lines.
Secure Family features better location tracking for covered devices, and it will allow parents to prevent kids from purchasing content from both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. It will also provide notifications for arrival and departure at certain locations, letting the parents know when their kids arrive and leave a place. The new app will also let parents set time limits for apps.
AT&T’s effort actually undercuts Verizon’s own “Smart Family” app, which offers many of the same features. However, to get full access to all of those features, including location tracking and alerts, you’ll need to pay $9.99 per month, as opposed to AT&T’s $7.99 per month for the same features.
If you are a parent, do you use an app, or several apps, to help monitor your kids’ device and app usage? If so, which one?
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