Are you looking for the best parental control app for iPads, iPhone, or Android? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the best apps for iPads below, so you can pick the one that’s right for your family.
- 1 What are the Best Parental Control Apps?
- 2 Parental-control-App News & Updates
- 3 Best Parental Control App For iOS And Android
- 4 iPhone Vs. Android Parental Control Apps
- 5 How We Ranked and Tested the Top Parental Control Apps on iOS
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Conclusion
What are the Best Parental Control Apps?
Net Nanny is the best parental control app on Android and iOS. It consistently delivers the best combination of web filtering and location tracking, app management, and web filtering. It works with Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, Windows and Macs, as well as Chromebooks that support Google Play.
Kaspersky Safe Kids came in a close second, providing full-featured support for unlimited Android and iOS devices as well as Macs and PCs. The $15/year full-featured paid plan includes web monitoring, app management, time limits, and web monitoring.
Norton Family has almost all the features parents could need, with the exception of geofencing. However, its app-management capabilities don’t work well on iOS. It can monitor smartphones and tablets as well as Windows PCs, but not Macs.
Many antivirus products, such as those from Norton and Kaspersky, have parental controls. Check out our review of the top (and worst!) antivirus software for parents to see how they compare against stand-alone products.
Due to Apple’s stricter app restrictions and system controls, all these parental-control apps are able to see and do more on Android than on iOS. Get Android phones if you really want to keep tabs on your children’s online activities.
Be wary of any Android parental controls app that you have to “sideload” from Google Play. There is usually a reason the app isn’t available in the Google Play store. Qustodio is an exception. The sideloaded version of Qustodio has the same capabilities as the Google Play app.
Parental-control-App News & Updates
- Norton now offers geofencing, automatic location alerts and customizable school day schedules.
- Qustodio now supports Chromebooks with Google Play and a browser extension.
- ESET Parental Control for Android has reduced its multiyear subscription rates. Two years of service are now $45 and three years for $60. This represents discounts of 25%, 33% and 33% respectively.
Best Parental Control App For iOS And Android
1. Net Nanny
- Intuitive, consistent design
- Unmatched web filters
- Reliable geolocation and time-management
- A bit expensive
- Some features are missing from iOS
Net Nanny is our favorite parental control app. It has an intuitive design, excellent web-filtering technology, and analyzes pages instead of blindly blocking them. You can also create filters.
Net Nanny is the closest parental-control app to have feature parity between IOS and android versions. Net Nanny can track and display your child’s location as well as their history and allow you to set time limits and schedules on both Android and iOS.
You can block over 100 apps from your child’s iPhone; the Android version allows you to block all. App Advisor provides a warning on new apps to watch out for. Tom’s Guide readers get $10 off each Net Nanny plan.
Net Nanny includes content screening for social media apps and services such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Instead of blocking them or allowing them completely, Net Nanny allows you to screen their content.
Net Nanny cannot monitor calls or text messages on a smartphone. None of the apps we tested could do this on iOS. However, a few can on Android.
2. Kaspersky Safe Kids
- Really affordable price
- Full-featured on paid and free tiers
- Monitors Macs and PCs
- Web portal slow at times
- Poorly designed mobile apps
Kaspersky Safe Kids, like Net Nanny, allows you to monitor and control the activities of your children on both smartphones and PCs. Kaspersky’s paid plan is $15 per annum (with a 7-day trial) and allows you to monitor and control your children’s activities on PCs and Macs. You can also filter websites, set screen-time limits and manage other apps.
The paid plan monitors social media and provides location tracking and geofencing. These functions work on both iOS and Android. App management on iOS is limited to blocking apps with age restrictions.
A feature that allows you to block certain YouTube searches and view your YouTube search history if paid users are also available on Windows, iOS, Android and Macs.
There are some drawbacks to mobile apps, but they are minor. The web portal is slow and the web filters might not work on lesser-known browsers. Kaspersky Safe Kids can be a good option if you don’t feel the need to read your children’s text messages. In which case, you’d need Qustodio.
3. Norton Family
- Excellent web monitoring and filters
- Unlimited number of devices and children
- Works for Windows
- Mobile apps could be improved
- It doesn’t work with Macs
Norton Family’s features and power are perfect for Android (or Windows) families with many children. It offers nearly every feature that a parent would want from an excellent parental control app, including geofencing.
The location–tracking, time scheduling, web filtering and -monitoring capabilities of this service work on iOS and Android. However, Norton’s time allowances only apply to its Windows and Android software. The iOS app doesn’t support app management.
Norton Family, however, has strong web filters even on iOS. It monitors Hulu and YouTube, as well as a new feature called School Time, which keeps children focused during remote-learning classes.
Norton Family is included free of charge when you purchase Norton 360 Deluxe or any other premium antivirus suites. These are often as low as $50 per annum. Norton Family is an excellent choice for those who have children using Macs.
- Excellent design & navigation
- The powerful iOS feature set
- Covers up to 20 child devices
- Limited web filtering
- Can get expensive
OurPact was once the best parental control app on iPhones. Apple temporarily removed OurPact from the App Store. It can block or manage any iOS app just like it can on Android.
OurPact allows kids to be involved in the management of their screen time. It also helps with scheduling. Premium Plus plans allow you to take screenshots of the child’s device, even on iOS. You can also block texting and messaging apps, even though you cannot read the messages.
Its website filtering blocks porn, and the interface for time management is somewhat clunky. OurPact can tell you where your child is. It also has geofencing that will show you when your child arrives at or leaves certain locations. However, it cannot tell you where they have been.
These drawbacks aside, OurPact’s intuitive interface and well-designed features make it an enjoyable tool, especially for kids with iPhones.
5. Google Family Link
- Absolutely free
- Solid design
- Excellent performance
- Doesn’t support iPhones for children
- Very limited website filtering
Google Family Link is your only free option. It’s possible to be surprised at how useful and powerful it is, provided your children have Android tablets or phones.
Google Family Link allows parents to control the permissions that each app has on their child’s Android devices. This feature is not available in any other parental control app. You can also decide what apps or none your child can download directly from Google Play.
The Google Family Link child app is not available on iOS, but parents can monitor their children’s devices using either iOS or Android. Android is recommended for children’s apps since the Android versions give parents more control and insight.
There are a few issues: Google Family Link only has one web filter against “mature websites,” and it doesn’t work perfectly. YouTube users can use the same filter. The location tracking feature is not very advanced, and there is no geofencing. However, the time management features work well.
Google Family Link is a great option if you are concerned about what apps your children use. Google Family Link is a great app for those who want more.
- The wide feature set at all price points
- Broad Multi-Platform Support
- Call, text monitoring is still possible on Android
- Fairly priced
- Unreliable web filtering
Qustodio is compatible with Android and iOS devices, Amazon Fire tablets and Macs, as well as PCs and Chromebooks. You can also set time limits for individual apps or devices.
The service’s location tracking works both on iOS and Android. It also has geofencing and a Family Locator feature, which shows all of your children at once. The iOS app can be managed with about 6,000 apps and the Android apps all at once, but website filtering is not available on both platforms.
Qustodio, however, is the only app we tested recently that still allows you to log your child’s calls and texts, view the contents of text messages, and block numbers.
However, this requires you to sideload an exclusive version of Qustodio from their website. Qustodio might be the best app for you if you are looking for these features.
Qustodio is expensive. It can cost up to $138 per annum for 15 devices. This is the biggest problem. Tom’s Guide subscribers get a 10% discount
7. Screen Time
- Intuitive design
- Access well
- Task/reward system
- Location tracking and filters can result in high-priced upcharges
- No call or text monitoring
Screen Time, not to be confused in iOS with the “Screen Time” feature in iOS, does a great job managing and scheduling children’s device access. It doesn’t do much else on iOS devices. Only Android can use website filtering and app management.
Screen Time has confusing upcharges for web filters and location tracking. These are essential features that come standard with parental-control apps. You can access both of these features during the Screen Time premium 14-day trial.
Screen Time allows you to give additional screen time to children who do chores or other good deeds. We liked it. You can’t block apps on IOS and you don’t have call or text monitoring. However, geofencing was recently added.
8. Android Parental Control by ESET
- Nice location features
- Unlimited devices
- Confusing interface
- No text or call monitoring
- Android only
ESET Parental Control for Android is limited to one platform. However, it’s not a shining example of Android security. It lacks text-message and call monitoring (and number blocking) capabilities and implements clunky controls over what it has.
ESET Parental Control for Android’s free app management and time management functions work well. If you subscribe, you will also get geofencing and location tracking. You can get a 14-day trial and steep discounts on multi-year plans. We liked the fact that a child can send an SOS message directly to a designated phone with just one tap.
The $30 per year plan is still not worth it unless you bundle it with ESET Smart Security premium. Kaspersky Safe Kids is more effective than ESET Parental Control Android and costs half as much.
- A wide range of Android features are available
- Granular controls
- Can read messages and texts on iOS
- Can get expensive
- Terrible user interface
MMGuardian offers almost every parental control feature that you could want for Android phones. This includes the ability to log, log, block, and read text messages and log and block phone calls.
It is also the only app that can read messages and texts on iOS. However, it cannot block them. This is thanks to Mac and Windows software that scans an iPhone’s backups.
However, both platforms have outdated user interfaces that can be frustrating and difficult to use. The iOS and Android smartphone apps offer location tracking and excellent web filtering, and MMGuardian now has an artificial intelligence component to spot nudity in saved images.
Android only. The separate MMGuardian Android tablet app has no location tracking.
MMGuardian iOS’s app management is very primitive and does not allow for call blocking. MMGuardian, however, is worth looking into if your child texts messages, especially on iOS.
10. FamiSafe – The Best iOS Parental Control App
- Age ratings can be used to block inappropriate apps
- 7 websites with harmful content are included on the website. This makes it easier for your children to stay away from dangerous websites.
- You can track the location history of target devices to find out where your children have been.
- Detect Youtube porn and disturbing content.
- Multi-platform supported. It works with Android, iOS and Kindle Fire.
- With one click, you can block in-app purchases
- FamiSafe iPhone parental controls are the best. It offers many monitoring features that allow parents to monitor their children’s smartphone activities and protect them from harm.
- The iOS version is limited in features when compared to the Android.
FamiSafe iPhone parental controls is the best parental control application for iPad and iPhones. It offers many monitoring features that allow parents to monitor their children’s smartphone activities and protect them from harm.
11. Bark Parental Control App
- The market is dominated by social media platforms.
- When sensitive words are detected, parents will be notified immediately.
- It is available in the App Store and easy to install.
- There are only a few features available. It does not offer features such as location tracking or app blocking.
- Bark’s feature is still available to parents, but they must configure their children’s iOS devices.
The bark is another good parental control app for iPhones and iPad. Bark, which recently received a new update that included a web filter as well as screen time management for iPads and iPhones, quickly became my favorite parental control app.
We can block specific websites or general categories of websites, including those that are related to gambling, drugs, alcohol, or sex. My screen time management tools will turn off the internet at night, so my children can’t use their phones while We sleep.
We were able to connect Bark to over 30 social media applications on iOS. It scans all content and sends alerts if it finds messages, comments, videos, or posts that are related to sex, drugs, violence, alcohol, guns, suicide, or any other topic. The iOS app cannot monitor all apps, unlike Bark for Android.
It can, however, monitor Instagram videos and photos, but it cannot access DMs or searches. Bark discovered a way around Apple’s strict monitoring guidelines.
The app tracks everything your child does on an iOS device and uploads a backup every 6 hours to Bark for Windows or Bark Mac, provided you are on the same wifi network.
Bark scans your data once the upload is completed and will send you an alert or warning if any of the items it finds are inappropriate. Although you won’t be able to see the information immediately, it is a great workaround.
There are two Bark plans: Jr and Senior. The Jr plan has screen time tools, web filters and location check-in options.
While the Sr plan offers social media monitoring tools and screen time tools, the Jr plan does not. The Bark Sr plan includes a free 7–day trial.
This will allow you to decide if premium features are necessary or if the Jr. plan is sufficient. You don’t even need to provide your credit card information so you can test it for free.
iPhone Vs. Android Parental Control Apps
Apple’s Screentime software is the best choice for monitoring iOS devices. It provides all the necessary web, app and screen time monitoring that any of the top competitor apps do. The restrictions section offers a variety of web filtering and app blocking options.
Other parental control apps for iOS devices are not reliable as they require you to install a mobile profile. You can only access third-party apps’ features through a mobile device manager profile.
How We Ranked and Tested the Top Parental Control Apps on iOS
We have tested over 50 parental control apps. My standards are high when it comes to keeping my children safe online.
Before we recommend a parental control application, here’s what we expect:
Are the filters effective? Can my children bypass them? Parental control apps face many problems with new regulations. They have to work with Safari or find an alternative way to enforce web filters.
Many apps attempted to force downloads of their own web browsers – they were often poorly designed and slow, and my children kept going back to Safari. We were able to find several programs that worked with Safari or had good alternatives that my children didn’t mind using.
Time Management Tools: Screen time addiction is a major problem. It was crucial to find an app with flexible scheduling options and daily limits. This feature was more difficult to find for iOS than Android, as Apple doesn’t allow apps to block iPhones or iPads.
However, there are a few apps that can block iOS devices partially, and this has helped their ranking.
Easy of use: We did not want an app that required hacking or jailbreaking my iPhone or iPad. We preferred that all apps could be found in the App store and were easy to download.
Apps that work with multiple platforms were awarded extra points so We could download the parent app to my Android and Windows devices and then manage Dashboard from there.
Customer Support: We had many questions about the customer service teams. Most of them were regarding whether an iPhone feature listed on the website worked on it. It was surprising that We received a response to my ticket several times in excess of a week. This obviously hurt their rankings.
1. Is there a free parental control app for iOS?
Although there are many free parental control apps available, I don’t recommend them. These apps are free, but they only offer very basic monitoring tools.
You will have to pay if you want the full version. I was shocked to see a completely free program that didn’t include a premium package. I wondered why companies would offer this service free of charge. I was annoyed that ads would appear on the parent app, or they shared my data.
We would rather pay a small monthly subscription fee and have the security of knowing that there are safeguards in place for my children.
2. Which is better, bark or Qustodio?
Qustodio allows you to monitor calls your children make on Android phones. Bark can only monitor text messages. Qustodio restricts the time that your child can spend online playing video games, while Bark is limited to monitoring text and social media.
3. How can I limit YouTube on iPad?
These steps will allow you to restrict your YouTube access:
- Tap Settings-General-Restrictions-Enable Restrictions.
- If prompted, enter or establish a passcode you have previously set — at least twice.
- Tap YouTube until the button says Off.
4. Which is better, Qustodio or Net Nanny?
Net Nanny seems adamant that Qustodio’s the winner. It offers many unique features and is less expensive than Net Nanny. Every parent knows exactly which features are most important to their family, what devices they need to monitor, and which interface is easier to use.
5. Apple Screen Time vs. other parental control apps
Apple’s screen time is a popular choice among users due to its filtering, contact blocking and downtime functions. These features are comparable to any parental control app on the market.
ScreenTime is the best option for iOS users because it doesn’t require you to install a mobile device manager profile in order to work correctly, unlike other parental controls apps.
Other parental control apps, such as Bark and Qustodio, offer advanced features like SMS and call monitoring and advanced app and content filtering. These premium features are expensive.
Like Screentime, most parental control apps support multiple platforms.
From the above discussion, Lacoon came to know about some of the best parental control apps for iPhones, Ipads, and Android devices. All these apps are available for free on their respective app stores. You can download any of these apps from their app store and start monitoring your child’s online activities.
There are various apps and software available on the market, but the best ones for me are those that perform well on my devices and best meet my requirements. Thank you for reading!