Smart Apps For Android: Top Ten Free Apps for Ensuring Kid-Safe Play on Android (best free Android apps for parents and kids)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Top Ten Free Apps for Ensuring Kid-Safe Play on Android (best free Android apps for parents and kids)


The world is just a click away! It's getting more and more difficult to coach our children through life as they launch headlong into knowledge and experience through the internet on mobile devices. How can we protect them from the things they are not ready for? Listed below, in no particular order, are some apps that will help you have more parental influence on what your child can access on your Android phone or tablet.

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Kid Mode: Free Games + Lock

Zoodles: Kid Mode is available for every device, not only Android, but also iOS and computers (Windows and Mac). This is just the app you have been looking for to lock away certain apps from your child and to keep track of exactly what s/he is playing on the tablet. The parent dashboard allows you to set which apps are accessed by which child, save your favourite drawings by your children, purchase story books (all free with upgrade to premium), and set up video mail for messaging between approved friends and family across the globe.

Everything you need is right here in this FREE app, but if you desire an upgrade ($4.95/1 month), the premium version will also allow you to promote subjects (apps that teach those subjects will be promoted in the child's profile), set time limits for tablet use per day (one limit for week days and one for weekends), choose languages for your child to practice, adjust a violence filter for games, block certain characters (e.g. Dora, iCarly, Barbie) and finally, remove games from certain sites.

   FREE (IAP)
Get it on Google Play

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SafePlay: Kids App Child Lock

Multiple profiles can be set up with this app, giving each profile access to Games (apps), Video (YogiPlay chosen) and YogiWorld (customizable virtual pet reward center). You choose the apps that your child/ren can access and they choose what they would like to play.

What I like about this app is the effort gone into providing appropriate apps through YogiPlay, and how they link to skills in an educational curriculum. Other apps can be purchased through YogiPlay that will track your child's progress for an insight into their learning.

   FREE                                        $0.99
Get it on Google Play          Barnes & Noble Nook

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Kids Place - Parental Control

This parental control app is chocka-block full of options! You can block access to the marketplace, disable internet connection, lock the home button, restart apps (good if your child accidentally exits apps), change icon size, font size and margin size, set the volume and more!

Not only can multiple profiles be created, but also folders can be created to sort the apps (according to learning area for example). A really great feature of this app is the timer, which can be set to lock down the app when your child has spent his/her allocated "screen time".

   FREE                                         FREE                                    $1.99
Get it on Google Play          Available on Amazon Appstore          Barnes & Noble Nook

   FREE
Samsung Apps Mobile

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Kid App - Parental Control

Up to three profiles can be created with this app, and each profile has access to Video (preloaded videos), Website (preloaded websites), Games (flash games - if your device supports it), MyStudio (create photos, videos, voice memos and artwork) and App Library (parent customized).

The daily usage limit for this app can be set from 30 minutes up to six hours, with the advanced option to set usage for a user to be between certain times (e.g. 8:30am til 9:15am). A log is kept of each profile's activity and a New-Free-Apps-Radar alerts parents of other free apps for kids.

   FREE
Get it on Google Play

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KIDO'Z Play Mode - Safe for Kids

This is a great way to ensure your child only accesses the apps/content you want them to on your phone, tablet or computer! It does not matter if an app has ads or in-app purchases when you use KIDO'Z because the app prevents the child from clicking through. Multiple user profiles can be created who can then access a range of preloaded games, videos and websites, as well as personalize the background and install other hand-picked apps. The Parent Control Dashboard allows the parent to customize what features the child can access, the websites, videos and games available, the time limit, security options and more.

   FREE (IAP)
Get it on Google Play

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KidBox Safe Kid Mode

This app is free and comes with some features already installed. A Gold Subscription (three months free when installed on a Samsung device) gives access to all features available, including installing any apps you like (from apps already purchased on your device) and creating multiple profiles. Like other parent control apps, this one gives your child access to parent approved apps, websites, videos, games and even has a feature to send video messages to approved family/friends.


   FREE (IAP)                                 FREE                                      FREE
Get it on Google Play          Available on Amazon Appstore          Samsung Apps Mobile
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Kid's Shell - Parental Control

A very basic parent control app that is simple to use. In parent mode, click and drag the icons you want your child to be able to access. Settings include device language, password option (instead of math problems for parent lock), ability to block incoming calls, ability to block the official YouTube app and more. With an upgrade, extra settings include ability to manage file types associations, set the number of home screens, set a default home screen, change the wallpaper, and more. Kid mode simply allows child to access approved apps.


   FREE (IAP)
Get it on Google Play

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Family Center (safe for kids)

Another basic app for approving apps for child use. Parent dashboard is accessed with a user-set pin and apps are chosen from a list of installed apps. Child dashboard shows enlarged icons of approved apps (only six per page). This kind of app would be more suited to a phone that has limited kids' apps and a smaller screen.

   FREE
Get it on Google Play

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Parental Control | LockOut

If you're unsure about all of these parental control options and not sure which one is going to suit your child and your device, then start with this one. So easy to use, and will keep your device safe from little fingers accessing apps that they shouldn't. Apps are chosen from the list of installed apps and sorted into "study" and "fun" apps. A time limit is then set for how long study apps must be played before unlocking the fun apps. Another time limit is also set for the total screen time allowed for the day, and another can be set for the weekend.

   FREE
Get it on Google Play

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Famigo: Kid Lock, Family Games

Another very easy to use app approval management tool. This one has two modes: Play mode and Manage mode. Manage mode allows parents to approve certain apps for their child's use, adjust settings for device launch/reboot, internet access, photo album access and more. A timer can be set and when the time is up and the child is denied access to play with apps, the parent can simply start the timer again for anything from one minute up to 23 hours and 59 minutes. Play mode allows children to access approved apps and request other apps to be added (from a list of Famigo suggested free and paid children's apps).

   FREE (IAP)
Get it on Google Play

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This is not an exhaustive list of the apps available for parental control on Android by any means, but a selection of tried and recommended apps for you. What do you use? Are there others you would like to see added to this list in future?

Be sure to check out our other Top Apps posts:

Monster List of Halloween Apps

Top Ten Learn-To-Count Apps

Top Ten Monster Apps


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