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Best App To Help Your Family Manage Screen Time?

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Screen time is a major issue for the modern family and many parents are looking for the best app that can help ensure their kids get enough play time away from screens and not turn into a square eyed monster!

In this article we provide you with our recommendation of what the best screentime app is and why.

Note: we have no affiliation with any of the product recommendations listed below - if we recommend a product we do so based purely on merit and not making any commissions or any of that nonsense.

 

Best Screen Time App For Kids

There are many way to skin a cat they say, and it's the same for managing your family's screen time. You have three options;

 

1. Parental Controls

2. Native Device Controls

3. Dedicated Screen time App

 

Let's look at each of these in turn.

 

1. Parental Controls

Almost all modern day parental controls now come with screen time controls embedded within their functionality.

Who is this for? If you already use parental controls - as it's (probably) a case of just finding the functionality and 'switching it on'.

This is also your option if you want other capabilities such as GPS location tracking, SMS and email access, etc. All these functionalities are common to parental controls and you get them all bundled into one app - perfect!

We would recommend Qustodio in this case - it's a veteran in the parental control space and is specifically designed to be modular so you can pick and choose the functionalities you use. They've done this because often parents want X but not Y functionality so this allows you to built a customised app in many respects.

 

2. Native Device Controls

Who is this for? If mobile devices are your main area of concern and you're not interested in having parental controls (perhaps your child is older), then this option may well be for you.

Why use a dedicated app (especially if you're paying for one) if your device has that functionality already?! Modern iPhones, Android mobiles, Windows and Mac PCs and tablets all now have their own 'native' screen time controls.

Note: 'native' simply means already-built-in.

 

3. Dedicated Screen time App

Who is this for? If you both don't want/have parental controls and you want something more capable than the basic native screen time controls found on the devices.

There are some apps that work across a wide range of platforms unilaterally and thus take some of the manual configuration work out of things for us parents when first setting things up.

We recommend ZenScreen. In 2018, ZenScreen launched a cross-platform smartphone app and browser extension to help  families reclaim their 'family time' lost to unhealthy screen binging. ZenScreen uses artificial intelligence to analyse user behavior and then systematically help people master the use of technology in their lives.

 

 

ZenScreen offers a number of useful features to help maintain better habits:

  • Detailed usage dashboard and gauge, broken down by specific app
  • Calm Night and Smart Morning features to help users maintain a healthy sleep schedule
  • AI assistant technology that suggests and even enforces breaks based on user behavior
  • Granular user controls for setting maximum entertainment usage per day
  • Ability to add up to seven family member profiles, each with their own browsing limits and device settings

 

What screen time solution do you use? Let us know in the comments below 🙂

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