Devices like Pixels, Galaxies, and Palms have limited built-in controls. Google Family Link provides a free set of parental controls. Bark is a more comprehensive parental control app for Android, but we'll go over that next.
Built-In Android Controls
To kick things off, download the free Family Link app onto your own device (Android or iPhone). If your child already has a Google account, Family Link will walk you through linking both of your accounts.
Now, you can get started. Let’s go through what you can do:
Here you can see how much time they’ve spent on their favorite apps. It’s updated daily.
Manage screen time
You can set daily total limits for how much time they spend using their device, as well as when it gets locked for bedtime.
App limits and blocking
This is where you can set time limits for specific apps. You can also block them entirely.
This category is kind of a catch-all, and you can manage all sorts of things — including blocked websites and app download approvals. Here’s where you can also turn on Google and YouTube Safe Search and Restricted Mode.
When you toggle on this feature, you can see where your child and their device are on Google Maps.
Bark's Parental Controls for Android
Bark can help you set up content monitoring, website blocking, screen time management, and more on your child's Android devices. Here’s an overview of what all Bark can do.
Bark has screen time features you won’t find anywhere else. From the dashboard, tap Screen time.
Here, you’ll find our approach to creating a healthy balance centers on the idea that different times of day call for different screen time rules.
For example, when your kids are in school, you can block access to everything but educational sites.
At bedtime, you can only allow apps that help them wind down for the evening. And because all kids deserve to blow off a little steam, you can designate free time hours just for the fun stuff.
From the dashboard, tap Screen time again, then Rules, then Default rules. This is where our world-class web filter lets you select exactly which websites and apps your child can access on their devices.
You can block specific sites — or even whole categories like streaming services, online gaming, sexual content, and more.
From the dashboard, tap Monitoring. Here’s where you’ll connect your child’s device and accounts to Bark.
Our advanced technology can then scan for potential dangers like bullying, online predators, depression, sexual content, and more.
If something concerning is found, Bark sends you an alert so you can check in and make sure everything is okay.
Content monitoring not only helps keep your child safe, it gives you greater insight into their world and what it’s like to grow up in the digital age.
Bark also helps you keep up with your kids no matter where they roam.
From the dashboard, tap Locations. Here, you can add frequently visited locations (like school, home, or a friend’s house).
Whenever your child arrives at or leaves a spot, you’ll get an alert! No more opening up apps and zooming in on maps to check their location.
You can also request a check-in from your child whenever you need to get an exact update on where they are.