Parental controls are a hot item. Apple is building them into iOS 12, kid-friendly apps have them, and T-Mobile just unveiled its solution: Family Mode.
This includes iOS and Android apps than can limit what children do online. And the Family Mode Home Base connects to the home Wi-Fi router and lets parents put restrictions on every device in the house.
T-Mobile’s iPhone/iPad/Android app promises granular controls. Not only is it possible to limit a child’s access to between 7pm and 8pm, parents can choose instead to give 30 minutes of Netflix access anytime during the day.
All Internet access can be easily paused to summon up some enthusiasm for finishing chores. Or extra time can be added as a reward.
FamilyMode included custom filters for inappropriate content. Beyond the adult stuff, it’s possible to allow everything on a device but MineCraft to be used. The same foes for Fortnite.
Changing these settings can be done from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
The application informs parents what their children are doing online. Even better, it includes location tracking.
FamilyMode Home Base
Most parental control applications are limited to one device. T-Mobile Home Base extends to everything on the home network.
It can be used to limit Internet access for Xbox, smart TVs, computers, and other Wi-Fi devices.
FamilyMode subscription cost
The T-Mobile FamilyMode app costs $10/month for subscribers on a qualifying data plan. At launch, a Home Base is $20. The regular cost is $100. There’s no extra fee for using this hardware.
The app is compatible with iPhones running iOS 9.3.4 or later. or Android devices running version 5 or later.
T-Mobile launches this parental control service June 29. More information is available on this carrier’s website.
Not just T-Mobile
With iOS 12, it won’t be necessary to pay T-Mobile any extra money to get some of these features. Apple’s next operating system version includes Screen Time, a new app that not only monitors how much each application is used, but allows time limits to be set for each one.
Verizon subscribers can choose Smart Family, a service analogous to FamilyMode but without anything like the Home Base.