It’s a common sight: parents giving themselves some much-needed peace and quiet by handing their phone to their child. But there’s always the risk they might see something inappropriate online or mess up the phone’s settings. These apps are here to help.
This should be your first port of call for your younger kids. Keep them safely glued to the screen while watching episodes of their favourite shows or those seemingly endless toy-unpacking videos.
While the content can vary and may not always be that educational, your kids can browse in a safe and secure environment. The app features parental controls and video filters, as well as featured content specifically made for a younger audience.
YouTube Kids is free on both Android and iOS.
Norton App Lock
Norton App Lock is designed to prevent your child (or anyone else) accidentally erasing or messing around with your data. It allows you to restrict access to apps with a password, PIN or lock screen pattern. If you use your phone for sensitive business e-mails, or just have important pictures on it, Norton App Lock keeps them safe from prying eyes and accidental deletion.
It also features a Sneak Peek feature that will take a photo through the selfie camera after 3 unsuccessful unlock attempts. Perfect for catching a culprit in the act.
Norton App Lock is available for free on Android.
Kids Place Parental Control
Similar to Norton App Lock but aimed more specifically at parents, Kids Place Parental Control will childproof your smartphone.
Kids Place lets you approve certain apps for your child to access and locks down the rest. Restricted apps are hidden from view, so your child won’t even know they’re installed. Kids Place also prevents new apps from being installed and can stop your child from making phone calls or sending texts. There are also optional extras for website filtering, setting time limits and more.
Kids Place Parental Control is available for free on Android and Kindle (certain premium features require in-app purchases).
Qustodio can protect your child on a wide variety of devices, from laptops to smartphones. Once it’s installed and you’ve signed up to one of their monthly plans, you have access to a range of controls that will keep your child safe online.
Everything is controlled through a personal dashboard. You can easily keep an eye on activity and set website filters, time limits and app blocking rules. On Android phones, further features can be enabled such as a panic button, call and number blockers and location tracking.
Qustoido is available for Android, iOS, Windows and Mac. A subscription is required.
We don’t really need to say much about Minecraft. It’s a global phenomenon with tens of millions of players and is hugely popular among children. Gameplay is simple but rewarding and players can interact with each other inside the game.
If you need guaranteed peace and quiet, Minecraft is the perfect app to keep children occupied. The only problem will be getting your phone back.
Minecraft is available for Android and iOS for €6.99. (The game also has in-app purchases).
Carphone Warehouse is not responsible for the content or performance of the above apps and is not affiliated with the app developers. Apps should only be installed from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.