Best Parental Control Apps for iPhone & Android [FREE+Paid]
Do you also worry about your child’s online behavior and safety? Yes, then you need a Parental control app. Don’t know what it is? Worry not, we have got it covered in this guide. Smartphone addiction is a major problem for parents as their teenager kids are using smartphones more than required.
They may not use smartphones in front of you but you never know what they are up to on their smartphones in your absence. This age is very tender and kids can easily get distracted.
There are lots of bad things that can happen which is why we have come up with a list of best Parental Control Apps for iPhone and Android. Most of the parental control apps are free, with extended paid features. Mostly the parental control apps work best on Android because iPhone has stricter permission policies for apps.
What is a Parental control app?
A parental control app allows you to control what your kids can use, watch and for how long they can use their smartphones. Most of the parental control apps give you almost full control over your kids’ devices. It doesn’t matter if your kids use an iPhone or Android, these apps are available for both platforms.
You can block certain types of apps, games or websites from accessing. Block apps, set screen time, track location and more. This ensures that your kids don’t get exposed to inappropriate content of the internet. Using a parental control app will give you peace of mind and safer internet experience for your kids.
**Note – All the parental control apps have features differences between iPhone and Android versions. This is because Apple follows a stricter app permission policy. That means Apple meticulously decides what permissions should be granted to an app and which not while Android is a bit lenient on this.
List of best Parental Control Apps for iPhone & Android
We have listed the top 10 parental control apps for iPhone and Android. Few of them are absolutely free while others offer extended paid version.
- Norton Family Premier
- Kaspersky Safe Kids
- Google family links
- ESET Parental Control
- Screen Time
- Net Nanny
Now, let’s discuss each app in full detail with its pros and cons. Most of the apps mentioned have a skimmed free version along with a paid version with complete features.
1. Qustodio – No.1 Parental Control App
This parental monitoring app has the almost perfect features you will need to keep an eye on your kid’s online behavior. You can see what apps your kids are using and for how long. You can even set a time limit for each app and internet time. There are only a few (hundreds) apps to monitor on iPhone or iOS but you can monitor all apps on Android.
Web filtering is great on iPhone than Android. There is also an option to monitor text and calls that are only available on Android. Qustodio also has a panic button feature that can be used in an emergency. One useful feature is a family locator which allows you to check all your kids’ locations at once.
Pros – Cross-platform support, Limit internet time, location tracking, apps, calls & text monitoring.
Cons – Expensive, No geofencing, limitations on iOS devices, outdated web portal.
2. Norton Family Premier
This parental control app comes from the house of Norton which is popular for making anti-virus software. One of the best features of this monitoring app is the ability to lock your kids’ devices remotely in case you need to. The app’s interface is clean and simple, each setting and menu is self-explanatory and easily navigable.
The app gives you the ability to completely block websites or simply keep a log of every activity or give a warning for some websites. The app also lets you set a time limit for each app or internet and even schedule shut down during specific hours of the day. This parental control app is best if you have two or more devices to monitor.
Pros – Great features, unlimited devices, location tracking, works on Windows, etc.
Cons – Expensive for one child, No free version, No geofencing, No blocking for HTTPS sites on unsupported browsers.
3. Kaspersky Safe Kids
One of the top free parental control apps with lots of features in its free version alone. The paid version has even more features and controls. Even the paid version is just $15 a year with more enhanced and advanced features. The best part is, geofencing feature is available on this parental control app by Kaspersky.
Parents also get the option to track internet usage, app usage and even gives you the option to prevent the app from uninstalling from your kid’s phone.
Pros – Loaded with features, affordable, the free version has good features, Available for PCs and Macs.
Cons – Only tracks Facebook and VK social networks, limitations on iOS features, newbies may find it hard to set up.
FamilyTime parental control app available for iPhone and Android. It allows you to set filters that your kids can watch and browse online. Monitors app usage, set bedtime, internet time and more. It also has the feature of geofencing which alerts or notifies you if your kid(s) enter or exit a specific area. This feature is extremely helpful for parents who have notorious kids.
It also has a free version and of course, features will be limited on this but the paid version is in the range from $27 for a year (1 device) to $69 for 5 devices for a year.
Pros – Easy to set up, Monitors calls and text, App blocker, geofencing, SOS
Cons – Slightly overpriced, Not for Mac or PC, Sometimes features don’t work as expected (as per reviews).
When you know the developer is Google, you assume it to be amazing. Google family link is one of the best free parental control apps for both iPhone and Android. It is totally free and provides good features like app time for each app, control what apps your kids download, set screen time limit, bedtime hours and more.
You can even lock their devices remotely, tells you important apps recommended by teachers and disable apps you don’t want them to use. All these features are absolutely free and I think is more than enough for most parents.
Pros – Completely FREE, a good number of features, easy to manage.
Cons – Takes a bit of time to set up initially.
6. ESET Parental Control – For Android only
This free parental control app is for Android only and even has a paid version with extended features. The free version has basic features like time limit for apps, app blocking, and basic reporting. The pro version has all the basic features offered in the free version along with features like geofencing, location tracking, activity reports and more.
Pros – location feature, geofencing, Unlimited devices, Simple UI
Cons – Only for Android, no text/call monitoring.
Availability – Android only
Also Read – A comprehensive guide to backup Android data
7. Screen Time
One cool feature this app has to offer is the Task feature. You can assign tasks to your kids and if they complete, they can get extra time on the phone. It also lets you set a screen time limit (as the name suggests).
Apart from this, you get the standard features like app blocking, activity reports, location tracking, geofencing and more.
Pros – Reward system, Geofencing, location tracking
Cons – No text/call monitoring, no app blocking on iOS.
This parental control app is available for iPhone and Android phones. It has almost every feature a parent may want web filtering, location tracking, monitor and block call, and text messages, A.I feature to spot nudity in saved images and more.
Parents even get a notification if their child downloads any new app. Some features like scheduling screen time are for Android only.
Pros – A.I feature to spot nudity, Alert feature, wide features for Android, good web filters.
Cons – Inferior iOS features, Bad UI.
When it comes to the best parental control app for iPhone then OurPact will probably be on top of the list. It offers all the basic functionality parents would need like lock apps, set screen times, block websites, location tracking, and some other useful features. Still, there is no text or call monitoring on iPhone.
This app was removed from the App Store last year when Apple changed its policy but was added later when Apple eased the policies.
Pros – Good for iOS devices
Cons – Android version is not great, subpar web filters.
10. Net Nanny
Net Nanny is primarily known for its powerful web filtering and modern design. It narrows down the feature gap between iPhone and Android versions. It provides all necessary features like location tracking, location history, schedule time limits and more.
Android version of the app blocks all apps while iOS version only a few dozens apps. One negative thing is, both the versions; iOS and Android don’t monitor text and calls while most Android versions do.
Pros – Powerful web filters, impressive design.
Cons – A bit expensive, slow update rollouts, no text, and call monitoring.
Best Parental Control Apps for iPhone and Android
As a parent, we all realize how important it is to ensure your child’s online safety. No doubt the internet has given wings to fly but there are some bad places too where kids can accidentally land. It becomes important for parents to make sure that their kids are safe online and stays away from inappropriate content.
These are the 10 best Parental Control Apps for iPhone and Android we tested based on 25 suggestions. If you think the list should include any specific app which is equal or better than the listed apps; feel free to tell us via email or comment section. Suggestions are always welcomed.