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Which parental control should I go for?


Apr 7, 2022
I'm trying to find a suitable parental control for my child's phone (Samsung Galaxy A41/Android 11) which I've reset to factory defaults and am busy trying to configure.

After a lot of frustrations I believe I've managed to install Google Family Link, but I'm not sure if it does what I want, if it's overkill and if there are privacy issues I should be concerned about.
I'm not entirely sure how it works either, but as I understand it a child basically gets his/her own user-profile on the phone where any and all phone use goes through an approve/do not approve procedure at Google according to what the parents allow or not. Is this how it works in a nutshell?
I know I can configure how "intrusively involved" myself as a parent can be, but I'm more concerned about Google's intrusiveness -being the middle man so to speak. And do I really need to have all that control?

Basically I want to limit my child's phone use down to being able to make phone calls, send/receive SMS messages and possibly one or two additional apps. I don't want to make the phone too interesting, and the main problem in the past was that it was possible to install any free app from the Google Play store. If I could block the Google Play store with a password, even for free apps I think it would solve most of the problems. So far I haven't found an option for that, or other ways to do it. Suggestions on how to block the Google Play store for my child?

It would also be nice if I could disable, remove or block some apps that the phone (or Android) came with by default. Like I said, I don't want to make the phone too interesting. This probably means restricting the ability to reconfigure the phone as well.
I have heard that it's possible to create a new profile on the phone, and this sounds like a solution, but I'm not sure if it does the above or if it's just for something like a "work" and "home" type of setup, with different types of contacts or whatever, but no restrictions...
I'm confused! o_O
Just offhand it sounds like you can use Family Link to do what you want, try reading up on how to configure it to monitor your child's phone usage accordingly:
But you'll probably get a lot more relevant info on just what you want to do and what you need to do so if you ask other parents at your kid's school. Remotely managing mobile devices is a pretty common thing now for parents and being able to have a one-to-one discussion with someone who has gone through and/or is doing exactly what you're looking into is better than random suggestions from an online help forum.
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I use Family with my son. You can set it up so you can approve each app installed, whether free or not. Also, you can put the kibosh on payments, so paid apps and IAP, which is a big deal as many games kids want to play are plagued with microtransaction.

You can also monitor and set time limits for each app on the device so you don't find them binging on YouTube at 3AM.

Now, I am a parent, so I'll also add in that I communicate with my son about the restrictions, and that is as large a part of it working as the technology. As far as privacy, if your child has an Android, google knows all the stuff already. Plus, he or she is also probably already in the Google ecosystem as school as many use Google Docs.
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Thanks for all comments and suggestions.
I've taken a closer look at Family link and believe I have it working on the phone now! I did find it a bit complicated to figure out though.
Now off to testing it out in real life.

PS: one thing I couldn't figure out is that within Settings -Location on the phone there's a section that looks like this:

Location services
Emergency Location Service

Google Location Accuracy

Google Location History

Google Location Sharing

The above is when "Device location" has been turned off by the parent, but for some reason "Google Location Accuracy" is greyed out but turned on. There's a green "i" (info?) to the right of it and when I press it an alert comes up saying:

Action not allowed
You do not have permission to perform this action. Contact your organisation's IT administrator for more information.
Learn more OK

Being on the child's phone it looks like this is a restriction which only the parent can turn on/off, but whatever I've tried it doesn't go away. Even if I enable "Device location" it's still greyed out but on.
I'm administrating the phone from a web browser on a computer (https://families.google.com). Could it be that there are additional options when using the Family Link phone app that isn't present in the website version?
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I just installed the parent's phone app but still couldn't find a way to un-grey "Google Location Accuracy" and turn it off.
In theory I guess it won't make a difference if it's on or off when Location has been turned off, but you never know...
And it's very strange that it doesn't become un-greyed when Location is turned on.

The app seems to do the same as the web browser page, but looks prettier.
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Hi there) I use parent control on my sons phone, but he managed to find a way how to avoid it. Maybe someine knows some more stonger apps, which he won`t be able to hack?

Please provide some more details. Without any relevant background info there will be just a lot of generic suggestions and repetition.
-- Which parental control service are you currently using that he bypassed? The parental control option that's in the Settings menu? Google's Family Link app? A different third-party app?
-- What phone model and which version of Android is it running?
-- Approximately how old is your son? Did he bypass it himself (he presumably has some phone tech skills) or one of his peers?
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