Best Parental Control Apps for iPhone & Android, Pros & Cons

In today’s digitally connected world, ensuring our children’s safety and well-being online is a top priority for parents. With the plethora of content available and the constant evolution of technology, it can be challenging to monitor and manage our children’s digital activities effectively. However, with the help of parental control apps, parents can gain insight into their child’s online behavior and implement necessary safeguards to protect them from potential dangers.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 parental control apps that offer comprehensive features to help parents navigate the digital landscape with confidence.

Pros and Cons of Parental Control Apps

Parental control apps are software tools crafted to assist parents in supervising, organizing, and limiting their children’s digital engagements across diverse devices and platforms. Equipped with a variety of features, these applications empower parents to ensure their children encounter safe online environments, cultivate positive device usage patterns, and shield them from potential online risks.

These apps serve as valuable tools for parents to manage and monitor their children’s digital activities. However, like any technology, they come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of parental control apps:


  1. Content Filtering: Parental control apps allow parents to filter and block inappropriate content, including websites, apps, and online material that may not be suitable for children based on their age or maturity level. This helps create a safer online environment for kids.

  2. Screen Time Management: Parental control apps empower parents to establish boundaries on screen time, aiding in curbing excessive device usage and encouraging healthier habits. Screen time management features allow parents to schedule specific times for device usage or enforce time limits on certain apps or activities.

  3. App Blocking and Monitoring: Parents can block access to specific apps or games that they deem inappropriate or distracting. Additionally, parental control apps often provide insights into which apps children are using the most, allowing parents to better understand their digital behavior.

  4. Location Tracking: Numerous parental control applications include GPS tracking features, enabling parents to monitor their child’s real-time whereabouts. This feature can offer parents reassurance by keeping them informed about their children’s locations, particularly when they’re not at home, thereby enhancing their safety.

  5. Remote Management: Parental control apps typically offer remote management capabilities, allowing parents to adjust settings, view activity reports, and enforce restrictions from their own devices, even when they are not physically with their children.

  6. Customization and Flexibility: These apps often offer customizable settings, allowing parents to tailor the level of control and monitoring based on their child’s age, maturity, and individual needs. This flexibility ensures that parental control measures are aligned with the family’s values and parenting style.


  1. Privacy Concerns: One of the main drawbacks of parental control apps is the potential invasion of privacy. Monitoring children’s online activities may raise concerns about their right to privacy and autonomy. It’s essential for parents to strike a balance between protecting their children and respecting their privacy.

  2. False Positives: Content filtering and monitoring algorithms used by parental control apps may sometimes generate false positives, blocking or flagging harmless content or websites. This can be frustrating for both parents and children, especially if legitimate websites or apps are incorrectly filtered.

  3. Technical Limitations: Parental control apps may face technical limitations or compatibility issues with certain devices, operating systems, or apps. This can result in inconsistencies or gaps in monitoring and control, diminishing the effectiveness of the app.

  4. Over-reliance on Technology: Dependence solely on parental control apps for managing children’s online conduct might neglect the significance of parental oversight and communication. It’s imperative for parents to foster open communication with their children regarding internet safety and responsible digital citizenship.

  5. Cost: While some parental control apps offer basic features for free, more advanced functionalities often require a subscription or purchase. The cost of these apps can add up over time, especially for families with multiple devices or children.

  6. Potential Workarounds: Children may find ways to circumvent parental control measures, such as using alternate devices, accessing the internet through public Wi-Fi networks, or seeking assistance from friends. Parents need to stay vigilant and regularly review and update their parental control settings to address any loopholes.

Parental control apps can be valuable tools for parents to safeguard their children’s digital experience, but they should be used in conjunction with parental supervision, guidance, and open communication. Finding the right balance between protection and trust is essential for fostering a healthy and safe online environment for children.

Also Read: Exploring the Best Photo Editing Apps for Easy and Effective Editing

List of best parental control apps with Pros & Cons

Below are top parental control applications accessible for both iPhone and Android devices. Please note that there may be new apps or updates since then, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest reviews and features:


Qustodio offers comprehensive parental control features, including content filtering, screen time management, app blocking, location tracking, and more. It supports both iOS and Android devices.


  • Comprehensive features including content filtering, screen time management, app blocking, and location tracking.

  • User-friendly interface for parents to monitor and manage their child’s device usage.


  • Access to certain advanced features necessitates a premium subscription.

  • Reports of occasional glitches or performance issues.

Net Nanny:

Net Nanny provides robust web filtering, app blocking, screen time management, and location tracking features. It’s available for both iOS and Android.


  • Robust web filtering capabilities to block inappropriate content.

  • Efficient app blocking and screen time management features.


  • Can be pricey compared to some other options.

  • The interface might not be as user-friendly as that of other applications.


Bark has gained recognition for its advanced AI technology, which aids parents in overseeing their children’s engagements across different platforms such as social media, messaging apps, and email. It is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.


  • Advanced AI technology for monitoring across various platforms.

  • Provides insights into potential online dangers such as cyberbullying and explicit content.


  • Some users may find the pricing to be on the higher side.

  • Requires access to child’s accounts which may raise privacy concerns.


FamilyTime offers features such as app blocking, screen time limits, location tracking, and geofencing. Available in both iOS and Android Versions.


  • Offers a wide range of features including app blocking, screen time management, and location tracking.

  • Simple setup process and user-friendly interface.


  • Limited customization options compared to some other apps.

  • Reports of occasional syncing issues between devices.


OurPact allows parents to manage screen time, block specific apps, schedule device usage, and track location. It supports both iOS and Android platforms.


  • Flexible screen time management features with scheduling options.

  • Easy-to-use interface for parents to set controls and restrictions.


  • Some users report issues with app blocking functionality.

  • Certain features may require a subscription upgrade.

Also Read: Effortless Parenting: 10 Essential Apps for Monitoring Your Baby’s Feeding, Naps, Health, and Beyond

Screen Time:

Screen Time provides tools for managing screen time limits, blocking inappropriate content, and tracking device usage. It’s available for both iOS and Android.


  • Provides tools for managing screen time limits and blocking inappropriate content.

  • Simple setup process and intuitive interface.


  • May not offer as many advanced features as some other apps.

  • Reports of occasional technical glitches.


Mobicip offers features like internet filtering, app blocking, screen time management, and location tracking. It’s compatible with iOS and Android devices.


  • Strong internet filtering capabilities for blocking inappropriate content.

  • Offers comprehensive app blocking and screen time management features.


  • Some users report issues with website blocking accuracy.

  • Certain features may require a premium subscription.

Norton Family:

Norton Family provides web filtering, app supervision, time management, and location tracking features. It supports both iOS and Android platforms.


  • Effective web filtering and app supervision features.

  • Provides detailed activity reports and alerts for parents.


  • Limited features in the free version; full functionality requires a subscription.

  • Reports of occasional compatibility issues with certain devices.

Kaspersky Safe Kids:

Kaspersky Safe Kids offers content filtering, app management, screen time control, and location tracking. It’s available for both iOS and Android.


  • Offers a range of features including content filtering, app management, and location tracking.

  • User-friendly interface with simple setup process.


  • Some users may find the interface design to be outdated.

  • Reports of occasional performance issues on certain devices.

Google Family Link:

Google Family Link empowers parents to establish screen time boundaries, authorize app downloads, monitor location, and remotely lock devices. It’s accessible for both iOS and Android platforms, although certain features might differ based on the device’s operating system.


  • Free to use with basic features for managing screen time limits and app usage.

  • Integration with Google accounts provides easy setup and management.


  • Limited features compared to some dedicated parental control apps.

  • May not offer as much granularity in controls and restrictions.

When selecting a parental control app, it’s vital to take into account variables like your child’s age, your particular monitoring requirements, and the functionalities provided by each application. Furthermore, remember that while these apps serve as beneficial aids, maintaining open communication with your child regarding online safety and responsible device usage remains paramount.

These pros and cons can vary based on individual preferences, specific needs, and the devices being used. It’s essential to consider your priorities and requirements when choosing a parental control app for your family.

Also Read: 10 Best Free Android Apps You Should Have in 2022


While these parental control apps offer valuable tools for safeguarding our children’s digital experience, it’s important to remember that they are not a substitute for open communication and parental supervision. Establishing clear rules and boundaries around device usage, and having ongoing conversations about online safety, are essential components of keeping our children safe in the digital world.

By combining parental control apps with proactive parenting strategies, we can empower our children to navigate the digital landscape responsibly while providing them with the guidance and support they need to thrive.