Iphone apps to monitor text messages
The best parental-control apps for smartphones can help you track your kids, see whom they are communicating with, block kids from viewing objectionable or dangerous websites, and even help kids understand the value of limits while preventing them from accessing adult content or communicating with strangers. No single parental-control service we tested is perfect, but Zift now Net Nanny delivered the best mix of web filtering, location tracking and app management on both Android and iOS devices.
All of these apps can do more on Android than on iOS, due to Apple's tight restrictions. Norton Family Premier was a close runner-up for best parental-control app. Unlike Zift, Norton's service offers text-message logging and monitoring, but only on Android devices. Parents on tight budgets should consider Kaspersky Safe Kids. Among all the parental-control apps we tried, it comes closest to having feature parity between its iOS and Android versions.
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Its iOS abilities don't seem to have been affected by recent Apple policy changes. Net Nanny can track your child's location, display their location history, and set time allowances and schedules equally well on both platforms.
The iOS version lets you block several dozen apps on your kid's phone; the Android one lets you block them all. The only thing Net Nanny can't do on a smartphone is monitor calls or texts. No apps we tested can do that on iOS, but several do on Android. Read our full Net Nanny Parental Control review. Norton Family Premier's power and features are ideal for Android and Windows households with many children, offering nearly every feature a parent could want.
This service's location-tracking, time-scheduling, and web-filtering and -monitoring capabilities work on both iOS and Android, but time allowances are for only Windows and Android. App management and text-message monitoring don't work on iOS at all. There's no geofencing on either platform. At that price, getting Norton Family Premier along with Norton's excellent antivirus protection is a no-brainer.
Read our full Norton Family Premier review. Kaspersky's location tracking and geofencing work in both iOS and Android, as do its web monitoring and device scheduling. But app management is limited on iOS, and the iOS app can't monitor calls or texts at all. Still, if you don't feel a need to read your kids' text messages, then Kaspersky Safe Kids is well worth considering.
In March , Kaspersky Lab filed an antitrust complaint against Apple for allegedly forcing the removal of some features from Kaspersky Safe Kids. Apple hinted in June that it might relax some of its tighter restrictions on iOS parental-control apps with iOS 13, but we haven't yet seen anything different and Kaspersky's complaint is ongoing. Read our full Kaspersky Safe Kids review. Qustodio has software for Macs, PCs. This service's limited location tracking works on both iOS and Android, although there's no geofencing option.
However, a Family Locator feature that shows you where all your kids are at once was added in September You can manage only a few dozen apps on iOS, as opposed to all Android apps. Web filtering is more powerful on iOS, while monitoring texts and calls works on only Android.
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Read our full Qustodio review. Once the most powerful parental-control app for iPhones, OurPact was hobbled by an Apple rule change in late that nixed the service's geofencing, location tracking and time allowances on iOS. At its peak, OurPact was the only parental-control app we tested that could manage or block any iOS app.
It can still do so for Android devices. OurPact also gets kids involved in managing the daily allowance of screen time that you give them, and it does a good job of scheduling. Yet, its website filtering simply blocks porn, and it can't monitor calls or texts at all, even on Android. Give it about 30 minutes after installing the app for the data to start appearing. Phone Tracker is free and has versions available for both Android and Apple.
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However, installing spy apps on iOS is no picnic. To get around legal problems, Phone Tracker puts an icon on the gadget's home screen and fires off a notification every 12 hours telling the person they're being monitored. That's actually a good thing in most situations, but kids are resourceful. If they know they're being watched, they can find ways around the app.
So, either tell them you're putting it on there and you expect them to leave it alone or go for a paid app that's completely hidden. To install the app, you will need access to the phone or tablet. Tap or click here to download the free app for iOS. Tap or click here to download the free app for Android.
Not ready to install a new app? Here's a simple way to track a phone's location, no download required.
In the upper-right corner, touch the " Information " icon, which looks like a lowercase I. Tap " Send My Current Location " to instantly send a map of the phone's current location, one time only. Or just below it, hit " Share My Location ," which will continuously send the phone's location to your Apple gadget. To see the phone's location, go to your Messages app and find your child's contact. Tap the " Information " icon and a map will display the phone's location.
Note that your child can easily turn off this location sharing anytime, but perhaps a firm conversation about the consequences of doing so might encourage him or her to leave it on. Note : These features will also work for your Apple gadgets that are running older iOS versions.
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Want to track your child's Android device? Click or tap here to learn how. Tired of social media platforms selling your personal information? Looking for a safe place to connect with your loved ones and share photos?
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