To have a clearer picture of your kids’ digital habits, check out the apps and websites they frequently visit on their tablets and smartphones by using the best android apps for parental control.
These apps are available for both platforms. Many of them also offer software for both Windows and Mac computers that you can install on your child’s computer to give you a clearer picture of the overall amount of time they spend looking at screens.
If you need the appropriate tools, monitoring what your children of any age do online and the websites they visit can be challenging.
This is true whether you have young kids or teenagers. For example, are you familiar with Snapchat, WhatsApp, or TikTok, and do they have these apps loaded on their devices?
Do they have these apps installed on their devices? When you enter a room, do you find that your child immediately covers the screen of whatever electronic item they use?
If this is the case, they are probably trying to keep something from you, and if you use one of the top parental control applications, you can find out precisely what they are hiding.
If you are a new parent who is thinking about the future or if you want to gain deeper insight into the activities that your children engage in online to help keep them safe, the best android apps for parental control on this list here are some that are currently available.
Best Android Apps for Parental Control
1. Norton Family
In Android (and Windows) families with many children, the power and capabilities of Norton Family are great since they offer practically every function a parent might desire from one of the best android apps for parental control. Recently added geofencing is one of these features that Norton Family offers.
The functions of this service, including location tracking, time scheduling, site filtering, monitoring, and more, are compatible with iOS and Android; however, Norton’s time allowances are only available for its applications for Windows and Android.
In addition, the iOS app does not in any way support the management of applications. On the other hand, Norton Family has extremely powerful web filters that work even on iOS and monitor Hulu.
In addition to YouTube, and has a brand new function called School Time that helps keep children engaged during their time spent using remote learning.
Consider investing in Norton’s top-tier anti-malware package, Norton 360 Deluxe, which can be had for as little as $50 annually during special promotions.
In that case, you can receive Norton Family at no additional cost. Considering the cost, it is a no-brainer to get Norton Family and Norton’s outstanding antivirus protection; The only exception is if your children use Mac computers.
2. Net Nanny
One of the best android apps for parental control is Net Nanny because of its contemporary and user-friendly appearance and superior web-filtering technology, which analyzes websites rather than merely banning them blindly and allows you to develop filters that are specific to your needs.
Of the parental-control apps we tested, Net Nanny was the only app that came close to offering the same set of features across both its iOS and Android versions.
For example, you can track your child’s location and display their location history, and you may set time limits and schedules just as effectively on either platform as on the other.
The iOS version allows you to block more than 100 applications on your child’s mobile device, while the Android version allows you to block all of them.
In addition, you’ll always know what new apps to look out for thanks to the built-in App Advisor that comes standard on your device. (Tom’s Guide readers may save $10 off each of Net Nanny’s plans by clicking on the link to open a new tab.)
In addition, Net Nanny features content screening that operates within social media apps and services, such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, rather than completely blocking or allowing access to these platforms.
The only item that Net Nanny cannot monitor on a smartphone is incoming and outgoing phone calls and messages. On iOS, the apps we evaluated could only achieve that goal, although, on Android, a few still did.
Like Net Nanny, Kaspersky Safe Kids allows you to monitor and regulate the activities your children engage in on personal computers (PCs and Macs) and mobile devices (smartphones).
Even better, Kaspersky’s paid tier costs only $15 per year for an unlimited number of child devices. Its free plan enables you to establish screen-time limits, filter websites, and control other apps. Additionally, there is a free trial period of seven days.
The paid plan monitors social networks and provides location tracking and geofencing capabilities compatible with iOS and Android.
Additionally, it includes Kaspersky’s web monitoring and device scheduling capabilities. On iOS, however, as one of the best android apps for parental control, it is restricted to only being able to disable apps that require a certain age threshold.
Similarly, a feature that enables you to block particular categories of YouTube searches (opens in a new tab) and review your search history on YouTube if you are a paid user is only available for Windows, iOS, and Android devices, including the YouTube Android app; it is not available for Mac computers.
The applications for mobile devices have a terrible design., the web portal can be sluggish, and the web filters might not be compatible with less popular web browsers.
These are, however, relatively minor downsides to the service. However, if you do not feel the need to read your children’s text messages (in which case you would want Qustodio), then Kaspersky Safe Kids is an excellent option that you should consider.
Kaspersky is a Russian company, despite its extensive international operations. Therefore, it’s unknown if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and economic sanctions would damage Kaspersky software.
However, these occurrences may have such an impact. See our comment about Kaspersky software below for more details.
OurPact was formerly the most powerful parental-control application for iPhones; however, Apple has recently reduced the capabilities of OurPact, and the company has also temporarily removed OurPact from the App Store.
Nevertheless, it can still control or obstruct any iOS program in the same way as it does on Android.
OurPact encourages children to take an active role in managing the daily allotment of screen time that you designate for them, and it does an excellent job of arranging activities.
For example, its Premium Plus subscription lets you acquire screenshots from the child’s device, even on IOS. In addition, it restricts messaging and texting apps even if you cannot see the messages sent or received.
However, its website filtering only bans porn, and the user interface for managing one’s time is somewhat cumbersome.
OurPact can tell you where your child is at any given time, and its geofencing feature can notify you when your child enters or exits a certain location; however, it cannot tell you where your child has been in the past.
Despite these shortcomings, using OurPact is a pleasure thanks to its well-designed layout and user-friendly features, especially if your children have iPhones.
This service’s location monitoring is available on iOS and Android, as is geofencing and a Family Locator function that displays you where all of your children are simultaneous.
You can manage approximately 6,000 iOS and Android apps, but web filtering does not perform well on either mobile platform.
Qustodio, on the other hand, is one of the few apps we’ve recently tested that can still track a child’s texts and calls, read text message content, and delete phone numbers, at least on Android.
For everything to function, however, you must sideload a specific program version from Qustodio’s website.
However, if these features are crucial to you, Qustodio may be your app. The most significant disadvantage is that Qustodio can be prohibitively expensive, at $138 per year for 15 devices. (Tom’s Guide subscribers receive a 10% discount.)
6. Google Family Link
The only option on this page that does not include any payment is Google Family Link. Assuming that your children utilize Android smartphones or tablets, you might be pleasantly surprised by how powerful and helpful they can be. This is assuming, of course, that your children already have these devices.
The Google Family Link app (which opens in a new tab) allows parents to modify the system permissions that grant each app that is on their children’s Android devices.
This function is unavailable in any of the other parental-control apps that we have tested. Additionally, it allows you to select which kinds of apps, if any, your child is permitted to download from the Google Play store.
Despite the fact that there is no iPhone version, parents can monitor their children’s gadgets using either the iOS or Android operating system.
The Android versions of these apps give parents more information and control than the iOS versions do, which is why we suggest Android for kids’ apps.
Google Family Link’s web filter blocks “adult sites,” but it’s not flawless. YouTubers can get the whole filter. Geofencing and location tracking are primitive. Time-management functions work well.
Google Family Link might be one of the best android apps for parental control if your main concern is about the apps your children download and use on their devices.
However, if you want an app that can do better, Google Family Link is a good choice to be used in conjunction with one of the other solutions presented on this page.
7. OpenDNS Family Shield Parental Control Phone App
OpenDNS family shield prevents your child from accessing a specific website. It modifies the DNS settings in the router’s control panel.
It entails copying and pasting the app’s nameserver over the one on your PC. One of its disadvantages is that it does not identify which websites it blocks or blacklists. There is also no restriction on screen usage or location tracking.
How to select the most appropriate parental monitoring app for your needs. The age of your children is the primary factor that should guide your expectations from parental control software.
For example, if you are a parent of a kid under the age of 12, you must have the power to block undesirable websites; however, consider using an app that is available on Amazon’s Fire tablets.
However, if you have teens living in your home, you might want to consider permitting them to view some offensive content online—but only if you are aware that they are doing so.
In addition, you should probably keep an eye on who your teenagers are conversing with on the internet and via messaging applications, as well as where they are when it gets late on a Friday night.
In the same vein, in addition to monitoring your children’s smartphones, you might want to consider subscribing to a service that can keep an eye on their Windows and Mac computers.
One of the best android apps for parental control provides, at the very least, a website filter, the ability to track a user’s location, screen-time limitations that you can set according to a schedule, and an app blocker that is at least functional on Android.
8. Display Time
Screen Time, not to be confused with iOS’s “Screen Time” function, is a great tool for managing and scheduling children’s device access.
Unfortunately, it only does a little else, at least not on iOS devices alone, but on Android. App management and web blocking are only available for Android.
Screen Time also charges exorbitant fees for location tracking and site filtering, both of which are necessary and come standard with the best android apps for parental control. (Both functions are available as part of the 14-day Screen Time premium trial.)
We liked how Screen Time allows you to give extra screen time to youngsters who accomplish chores or good acts.
However, you cannot prohibit apps on iOS, and there is no call or text monitoring, despite the addition of geofencing and location history.
9. Android Parental Control by ESET
ESET Parental Control for Android is limited to a single platform. Still, it needs more text-messaging and call monitoring (as well as number blocking) features and implementing clumsy controls on what it does have.
The free version of this app includes app management, time management, location tracking, and geofencing if you pay for a subscription.
(As steep discounts for multi-year plans are available, a 14-day free trial is available.) We also liked that a child can send an SOS message to certain phones with just one tap.
Even so, the $30 yearly plan is only worth it if it’s bundled with ESET Smart Security Premium. This is because Kaspersky Safe Kids performs better than ESET Parental Control for Mobile on 4 times as many platforms and for less money.
On Android phones, MMGuardian has nearly every parental-control feature you could want, including being able to log, block, read, and delete text messages.
It’s also the only app I know of that can read and block texts and messages on iOS, thanks to Mac and PC software that searches through iPhone backups.
However, both platforms’ user interfaces are outdated and frustrating. The Android smartphone apps provide location tracking and excellent web filtering, and MMGuardian now includes an artificial intelligence component that detects nudity in saved images.
Time management and screen-time scheduling are only available on Android, and the separate MMGuardian app for Android tablets does not support location tracking.
MMGuardian’s app management on iOS is basic, and there is no call blocking. However, MMGuardian is one of the best android apps for parental control if you have an intreard in what your child is texting, especially on iOS.
11. Safe Lagoon Parental Monitoring Software
The Google family link (pro) is the full version, while the safe lagoon is the stripped-down version. It lets parents see which apps their children are using, identify their children’s locations, lock the phone, or limit their children’s usage. Consider it a substitute for the Google family connection. It is also completely free.
No software business will ever create an entirely free app. You can get it for free for a limited time, but advertisements will run inside until you subscribe to the premium version.
When searching for the best android apps for parental control, the software’s functionality should precede everything else. Because of this, AirDroid comes highly recommended.
Of course, it will cost you money in the long run, but it will provide you with a comprehensive view of what your kids are doing on their Android devices.