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Verizon Announces Updated 'Smart Family' iOS App With Screen Time Management, Content Filters, and More

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Verizon today announced the evolution of its existing "FamilyBase" parental controls product into "Smart Family," a redesigned app that lets parents track screen time, set content filters, monitor whereabouts, and more.

With the Verizon Smart Family app, parents can instantly pause the internet to manage their kids' screen time, check the battery status of their phone, and look at a summary of their text and call activity. Usage limits can be set by reducing access to texts, calls, and data, and what the parent deems inappropriate can be blocked with content filters for websites and apps.


There is also a location tracking feature with alerts that push to the parent's smartphone, notifying them when their kid arrives or leaves a specified location.
“Being a parent in today’s digital world can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be,” said Susie Fernandes, senior product manager at Verizon. “We created Verizon Smart Family to give parents the tools they need to help them raise tech savvy kids with a healthy and responsible approach to screen time and content viewing.”
Verizon Smart Family is available to download for free [Direct Link], but eventually requires a monthly subscription to access its features. The two subscription tiers include an entry level $4.99/month option that lacks location tracking and alerts, and a $9.99/month Premium plan with all features included (a 30 day free trial is available for Premium as well).


Smartphone over-use has become an increasingly debated topic in the past few months, with Apple investors urging the company to do more to protect its younger users from device addiction. Soon after, Apple said that new and "robust" parental controls would be coming, and such features are now rumored to be one of the major updates to iOS 12 this fall.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has touched upon the topic as well, discussing in an interview earlier this year how he has "put some boundaries" on his nephew's smartphone use. He continued: "There are some things that I won't allow; I don't want them on a social network."

Article Link: Verizon Announces Updated 'Smart Family' iOS App With Screen Time Management, Content Filters, and More
 
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bwillwall

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2009
794
385
Oh great pay extra money to get less content and spy on your children.
 
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Exile714

macrumors 6502a
Jan 14, 2015
687
1,100
If I were to consider this service, I would seriously read through the TOS to see what data they are collecting. I wonder if having to pay for such a service will make people less wary of giving up their data.
 
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CostaMoses

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2014
112
46
just build these things into iOS and put these silly add-ons from carriers out of business.

I don't think there is a pause feature built into iOS, but you can already set up location tracking in Find My Friends, as well as set it so it notifies you when a "friend" leaves or arrives at a certain destination.
 
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timmywa

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2017
29
36
Utah, USA
Seems VZW are the only major carrier that is charging for parental controls. I wonder why that is.
 
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swm

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2013
327
488
Is this also supposed to block Wi-Fi time?
this is why all network based attempts are deemed to fail.
you want to block content, you shall do it on application level. even OS based controls can be fooled.
with today's HTTPS ratio of almost 80% network based packet scrubbers are even more inefficient.
yet vendors are trying to rip off greedy network operators, claiming that they can sell snake-oil to average Joes.
 
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