News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday January 24, 2013.
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One of my favorite things about Windows Phone 8 is the ability to hand a phone to my younger relatives and not worry about them discovering something nefarious when using Kids Corner. You can't always protect kids, and smartphone users on an Apple iPhone or Android device may need monitoring as well. That's where MobileKids comes into the picture.
MobileKids is a newly-launched app for Android - the iOS app will arrive soon - that gives parents control for how and when their child uses a smartphone. The app pitches itself as a way for parents to monitor the child's behavior "without eavesdropping," but it's really just timeshifting the snooping. MobileKids lets parents see who their kids call or text, monitor the apps downloaded, and see a report of when the phone is used. It has the option to control usage by blocking phone numbers; restricting kids to certain apps; and placing caps on usage of minutes, Wi-fi access, MMS, or web data.
Aside from providing tools for parents to check-up on their kids activities and place restrictions, MobileKids adds a way for children to contat their parents in cases of emergency. The one-tap Safety Alarm feature uses the phone's GPS tracking feature to pinpoint the location of the chid, Follow me provides live updates, and I'm here is a easy way to calmly send location information when a child reaches a destination like school or a friend's house.
MobileKids is available now for smartphones running Android 2.2 or later. An iPhone version for customers in the U.S. should arrive shortly, but it is already available in Norway. The base features of the app are free, but the premium features to control apps, contacts, and usage, are only free until April 1, 2013. MobileKids will then charge a monthly fee to access those features.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.