“Hand me your phone now!”
That order or a variation of it has become commonplace in my household. With two boys ages 10 and 8, who are both in the autism spectrum, it’s been quite a challenge to have them stop playing on their smartphone or tablet that they share.
It might just be easier to take them away permanently, but let’s be honest — the mobile device has become the TV of our generation. Many kids their age or even younger have their own mobile device, or at the very least, share or use their parents’ smartphone. Although I’m an iPhone user, I’m glad that my husband and I decided to get our boys Android devices not only for their entertainment, but also for their special needs programs.
Yes, there are apps that help parents with special needs kids, but this review is not about those apps. This review is about a new app that I discovered on Google Play called AppLock Cloud. It is still in Beta so I guess it will be a little quirky, but what it promised it would do was enough for me to test it out.
I think it’s best to view the AppLock Cloud video so you’ll understand why I just had to try it!
Once I installed AppLock Cloud on my older son’s HTC-One and the Samsung Tab that he shares with his younger brother, I now had the ability to place time limits, set time of day rules on when they can use their devices and create daily, weekly and weekend rules for apps that are installed on their devices. Best of all, I did all that from my iPad by visiting http://applockcloud.com. All I had to do was create an account when I first installed AppLock Cloud on the two Android devices of my boys.
It would probably the only time I’ll ever have to be holding their device to use AppLock Cloud. From the web portal, I was also able to create profiles and add my boys’ photos to ensure that I know which rules are set for whom. Although they are close in age, they have different apps that they like to use.
My older one is into Instagram, YouTube, Minecraft and the insanely popular Flappy Bird while my younger one prefers to play more games like Subway Surfer, Angry Birds and Flappy Bird as well. Believe me when I tell you that Flappy Bird now remains locked most of the day.
Having the ability to group apps together makes it easier to set rules for all similar apps. What also makes AppLock Cloud helpful is the Reports section on my dashboard. With Reports, I can see which apps my boys are spending the most time with. As moms, we don’t usually know which ones apps are the most popular especially when they’re new apps. I didn’t even know about Flappy Bird until it was removed by the developer.
Another feature I love is the ability to temporarily unlock apps and limit the daily use of apps so even if I let them access all their apps, I can set a time limit for the day. This has replaced the egg timer I use whenever I have time to monitor their smartphone use, but even with a timer, it’s hard to keep up without having to always be looking over their shoulders.
Finally, AppLock Cloud has the ability to prevent kids from fighting over their shared devices. You can provide each child with their own passcode so if it’s their turn to use a shared device, only their profile’s rules will apply as they use it.
If you think your kid can simply uninstall the app, then he’s as smart as boys. When they tried to uninstall AppLock Cloud, a window pops up asking for my own passcode, which you should never share with your kids. I believe it is the same on accessing Settings and Google Play, which is great because my credit card is tied to the store and this prevents them from making any accidental purchases.
There are many more features that I’m still learning about AppLock Cloud, but so far, I’m loving it especially since now I can get my boys to do their chores, homework and go to bed all because they know I can lock their apps at any time from anywhere.
AppLock Cloud is free, but I’m guessing only for a limited time. I’m definitely willing to pay for the app especially since without it I’m going to have to be yelling, “Hand me your phone now!”
To test AppLock Cloud on your child’s Android smartphone or tablet, click here from any Android device.
Sponsored By: Gizmoquip