When it comes to Android devices, Samsung is undeniably the world leader, not just in phones, but in tablets, televisions, and a host of other devices driven by Android as well. That presents a challenge for parents, since they need to enforce the rules when it comes to apps and screen time. Here’s how to prepare a Samsung device for family use.
What To Know
Unfortunately, there are no Android-level controls on your phone, unlike iOS. While iOS hardly offers the most comprehensive set of tools for parents to keep track of kids, the lack of tools at the operating system level on Android means you’ll need to download and install a third-party parental control app to be absolutely sure kids are following the rules. As a back-up to this app, you’ll need to set Google Play to prevent app downloading and in-app purchases.
Those rules, and what you’re doing to put them in place, should be completely clear. Family contracts, written rules, and discussions about why the rules are in place will be important. If kids understand what you’re worried about, they’re more likely to consider their behavior. Parental control apps are, in the end, just a way to enforce the rules. The best way to make sure kids develop safe and healthy relationships with their screens and the people they meet using them is with open communication and understanding.
Google Play Services Parental Controls
This setting won’t affect any content on your children’s devices before you implemented the settings. Also, it won’t filter the content of apps, such as messaging apps, or allow you to set any device restrictions beyond app downloading and in-app purchases.
It’s also important to know that these settings are not automatically uploaded to the apps you allow to be downloaded. While Google Play will block in-app purchases on any app, you’ll need to set parental settings on each new app you allow your kids to download. It’s advisable to download apps like YouTube Kids and delete the “full” versions of these apps before you reconfigure Google Play. Here’s what to do.
- Open the Google Play Store and press the menu button in the upper left-hand corner. It will be an icon with three lines, next to the search box.
- This will open a menu on the side. Scroll down and choose Settings.
- On the page that opens, choose Parental Controls.
- On the next page, toggle Parental Controls to “On,” and create a PIN. Use a PIN you’ll remember, and that your children won’t guess.
Then configure apps, movies, films, TV, and magazines to the appropriate maturity level.
Installing A Parental Control App
For any features beyond apps, you’ll need to install a third-party parental control app on your children’s device to have control over the type of content they access. No major phone manufacturer is currently including the features that parents demand.
Android parental controls are a good start, but they generally don’t provide the level of protection most parents want for their kids on mobile devices. Screen Time is a parental control app that you can install on all your kids’ devices and customize to the level of protection that is appropriate. To learn more about our parental control app, try it for free!