Verizon Smart Family app gives parents new tools

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Verizon Smart Family
The Verizon Smart Family app is designed to make you a better digital parent.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Verizon’s new service lets parents limit their children’s’ screen time, monitor who they’re texting (and how often), and track their location. 

The Smart Family program also includes content filters, and can even tell a parent how much battery life their child’s phone has left.

“We created Verizon Smart Family to give parents the tools they need to help them raise tech savvy kids with a healthy and responsible approach to screen time and content viewing,” said Susie Fernandes, senior product manager at Verizon.

The service/app allows parents to manage screen time by instantly pausing internet access. Or daily time periods can be set when no access is allowed. Verizon Smart Family can restrict the number of texts sent per day and the amount of time on phone calls. A child can be blocked from texting or calling someone.

The service provides a summary of children’s text and call activity, so the parent can see who they are communicating with, and how often.

The Smart Family app allows parents to set content filters. You can restrict access to websites, as well as content related to violence, drugs, and alcohol. Access to specific apps can also be blocked. 

Verizon Smart Family Premium

Verizon Smart Family Premium adds location tracking. That includes alerts when one of your kids leaves a predefined area that you set up.

The standard version of this service is $4.99 a month. The Premium is $9.99 a month. This covers up to 10 family members.

The Smart Family app is available for iPhone and Android, but there’s no iPad version at this time. This is the replacement for Verizon’s FamilyBase, a similar service for parents.

But you don’t have to depend on Verizon. Apple built some parental oversite into iOS and macOS. It recently rolled out a new “Families” page to describe the parental controls is all the company’s devices.