In this epoch of technology children are connected more with the world than ever before via the integration of internet and the advanced functionalities in smartphones, tablets, computers and other screen devices accessible to children. While this resourceful connectedness is important for the children too to keep them educated and competitive in this modern world. This access to world let the children to grow as people, create new bonds, and even find new ways to learn and entertain themselves with what they like to play and work.
However, internet isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. You can confront a heavy bill due to app and game purchases by your kids but more substantial consequences for you would be that your children may also be at risk from online assaulters and adult content. Apart from this, a question also stage up that what should be the screen time limit for a child? To know the answer thoroughly, read this case study.
After acknowledging these challenges now you would be looking for the ways to protect the device against insubstantial content. So, if you want to share your android tablet with kids then below are few ways written to turn android tablet into kids safe zone. After reading this article you can finally get the ways to customize your android tablet or phone with parental controls. Try what suites you best!
Note: If you want to pass down your old android tablet to your kids then try Google’s Family Link Parental controls as permanent solution.
Setup a Kids Account on Android
Android has a built-in feature that allows users to set up and manage multiple accounts. It means you can make a new account for your child too. You can keep different settings and content for kids account. It is a great way to limit the children to a safe and customized environment.
However, it’s important to note that the multiple user features is not available to all versions of the android. Android tablets with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and up can use this functionality while Smartphones need 5.0 Lollipop or higher running version. While it’s also upto the manufacturer as some brands have been locked for this feature.
To setup new or manage existing user accounts, just open the settings app on your android device and look out for the Users section in the settings. In users tap ‘Add User’ option and accept the message by tapping ‘OK’, Then next tap on ‘Set Up Now’ to get started. Now current account will automatically log off and device will ask you to log into new user account.
By default, secondary users cannot make phone calls or send SMS messages. To change any settings you will need to log into primary user account.
Screen pinning is the functionality which can lock the users into one app with the same PIN or input method that is used to unlock the device.
To turn screen pinning functionality On, head into security settings menu in the device settings. Look for the Screen Pinning (or Pin Windows if Samsung) option in it. If you don’t see in front line then check for other settings within security settings list. You should set PIN, pattern or any kind of input method to unlock device which will be used to unlock the pinned tab. After turning the screen pinning On you can keep any user locked into single app to which you want to limit.
While to pin any app, open the app and tap the recent navigation. Next see for the Pin icon below in the app tab showing in the multitasking screen. Now tap that PIN icon, android will ask you to start the pin mode. To unlock the PIN mode hold the recent apps overview navigation it will ask you PIN/Pattern/Finger print depending on the input method to unlock the device.
If you rarely lend or share your tablet or phone to children then this option is best and most simple to avail.
Restrict Content in Google Play Store
In order to restrict the content in Google Pay Store, launch Play Store app. It’s good if you restrict Play Store content within the kids account you have just created but if you want to manage Google Play Store settings in primary account then open the app within primary account.
Turn Parental Control Functionality ON
Now in Play Store app, tap on three little horizontal lines to bring up the sidebar and scroll down to open Parental Control settings. Turn the parental control functionality ON by setting a PIN code. Now parental control settings will be turned on and you can configure settings for each category i.e for apps, games, music, movies and tv shows. The settings are associated with ages, like if you tap PEGI 7 it is the age category between four and seven. Tap save configure parental controls.
If you want to prevent your child from accessing the content like apps, games, music, videos and TV shows go to Play Store settings menu and tap on ‘Require authentication for purchases. You can set a PIN which will lock the downloads of anything that costs money. The PIN will be required whenever they will try to download.
Separately, also make sure that download from unknown sources is blocked from the main settings of the device.
YouTube Kids Safe Mode
Videos are also the absorbing source for kids when they have tablet, phone or any screen device at hand. While, one of the important source of today’s running media is YouTube. Kids like to watch videos relevant to their interests and this video app also proved to be one of the great educational tools with ton of content.
So you can use YouTube kids to keep relevant content under their fingertips and keep control over irrelevant content and screen time. Download YouTube Kids from Google Play Store.
Third-Party Parental Control Apps
You can also use third-party apps for more controls over the android device your kid is using. There’re plenty of apps that can do parenting stuff for your kids with android device and many of them also costs you subscription.
One of them is DinnerTime Plus which let you monitor other android devices from your personal device. As the name suggests, app is primarily developed for the purpose of turning other devices off that might be used by your family members including kids when the meal ready and awaited to be served on the table.
Many apps including DinnerTime Plus make you able to block apps, you will be getting info when and for how long apps are being used and set specific times for disallowing the use. Separately, as far I know Google can’t set these type of features in native OS but parents can get a huge benefits of third party apps.
MM Guardian Parental Control; It allows the parents or any user who want to restrict operations when device is in children’ hands to block incoming calls and texts, monitor alarming texts and have full control on apps to be used and when children can use it. It also let you locate and lock child’s phone using text message, time restrictions, reports about the child’s phone usage, restriction on websites they can access.
Funamo Parental Control; This app goes a step further having the filter of internet sites with categories. Almost everything including contacts, calls, SMS, websites, applications and locations of the child device gets uploaded to app server each day and can be accessed from any browser.
Kids Place; This app is good for your kids to whom you share your tablet or phone. This app requires a PIN to login into is interface. PIN is also used to exit the app. When logged in, it will protect every personal data and restrict the children to only use the apps that you approve.
Kids Place also makes sure that kids couldn’t be able to make phone calls, do texting or download new apps. You can also block incoming calls when app is running and can also disable connectivity features like WiFi, LTE, Bluetooth, etc. This app allows you to make multiple user accounts for kids. App’s user interface is perfect for the kids with under 5 years of age.
AppLock; AppLock has wide range of users around the globe. If you want to protect your privacy or prevent the apps that you don’t want them accessible to kids then this AppLock app will do bounteous job for you. It can keep your SMS, Contacts, Gmail, Facebook and any other private app locked for access from other users.
However, before trying third-party apps you can also check out Google’s own free parental app named Family Link.