1. Google Chrome

Qustodio has software for Macs, PCs, iOS and Android devices and Amazon Fire tablets, and it lets you set time limits for individual apps and individual devices. This service's limited location tracking works on both iOS and Android, and Qustodio finally added a geofencing option in the fall of A Family Locator feature that shows you where all your kids are at once was added in September You can manage only a few dozen apps on iOS, as opposed to all Android apps. Web filtering is more powerful on iOS, while monitoring texts and calls works on only Android.


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Read our full Qustodio review. Once the most powerful parental-control app for iPhones, OurPact was hobbled by an Apple rule change in late that nixed the service's geofencing, location tracking and time allowances on iOS. At its peak, OurPact was the only parental-control app we tested that could manage or block any iOS app. It can still do so for Android devices.

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OurPact also gets kids involved in managing the daily allowance of screen time that you give them, and it does a good job of scheduling. Yet, its website filtering simply blocks porn, and it can't monitor calls or texts at all, even on Android. However, you can block messaging apps, and OurPact remains a joy to use. Read our full OurPact review. Screen Time -- not to be confused with the "Screen Time" feature in iOS -- does an excellent job of managing and scheduling kids' device access.

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Unfortunately, it doesn't do a whole lot else, at least on iOS devices. App management and web filtering are for Android only.

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Screen Time also has baffling upcharges for location tracking and web filters, both of which are arguably essentials and come standard with other parental-control apps. You can get both features in the day Screen Time premium trial. We did like how Screen Time lets you dole out additional, yup, screen time to kids who perform chores or good deeds. But you can't block apps on iOS, and there's no call or text monitoring at all, although geofencing and location history were recently added -- for Android phones only.

Read our full Screen Time review.


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ESET Parental Control for Android sticks to a single platform, but it doesn't shine even there, lacking text-message- and call-monitoring and number blocking features and implementing clunky controls on what it does have. The app management and time management you receive with the free version of ESET Parental Control for Android do work well, as do the location tracking and geofencing you'll get if you pay for a subscription.

There's a day free trial. And we liked the feature that lets a kid send an SOS message to designated phones with a single tap. MMGuardian has nearly every parental-control feature you might want on Android phones, but its abilities are severely limited on iOS and the user interfaces are outdated and frustrating on both platforms. The iOS and Android smartphone apps offer location tracking and excellent web filtering, and MMGuardian recently added an artificial-intelligence component to spot nudity in saved images. On an Android phone, the parent can use MMGuardian to read every text and block any number.

Unfortunately, time management and screen-time scheduling are Android-only, and the separate MMGuardian app for Android tablets has no location tracking. Even by the lowered expectations of what an iOS parental control app can do, MMGuardian doesn't offer a lot for iPhone users. Read our full MMGuardian review. What you need from a parental-control service mainly depends on how old your kids are. If you're the parent of children under 12, you absolutely want to be able to block objectionable websites, but you might also consider an app that's available on Amazon Fire tablets.

If you've got teenagers, you might want to let them have a look at objectionable things online, but only if you're aware of it. You might also want to see whom your teens are talking to in messenger apps, and to see where they are late on a Friday night. And you might want to consider a service that monitors your kids' Windows and Mac devices as well as their smartphones. The best parental control apps will offer, at a minimum, a website filter, location tracking, screen-time limits including a scheduler, and an app blocker that works at least on Android.

Useful extra features include geofencing, which alerts you if a child's phone leaves a designated "safe" area like school or a relative's house. If you do it in a shared thread, you will see everyone who has enabled location sharing from their own device. One day your child will lose their iPhone. Step one is to download the Find My iPhone app to your own device. Launch it, and sign into your iCloud account your Apple ID , if prompted.

Some of these will have green dots next to them, shooing that they are online, and sharing their location. Tap their iPhone on the screen of your own device, and then tap Actions , and then Play Sound. Even if their iPhone is set to silent, it will still play a pulsing alert.

Follow the sound until you track it down. If their iPhone is elsewhere, the you should put it on Lost Mode. This will lock it, and you can track its location, if available. If all else is lost, then you should tap Erase Phone. This will wipe all personal data from the lost iPhone, but it will also switch off all tracking, so you will never find it. Kids love iPhones and iPad, so you may as well use this obsession to sneakily keep tabs on their whereabouts, as well as helping you to lose the iPhone when they inevitably lose it.

This camera app delivers beautiful long exposure shots, with the help of AI and software magic to stabilize the shot, process light trails, and remove crowds, moving vehicles, and other ephemeral elements. The result is a photo highlighting the perfect scenic view. Spectre takes in hundreds of shots during the exposure time saved as a live photo, so you can view and share the exposure in progress, individual stills, or the final result.

The first Astropad app did a fantastic job of turning your iPad into a video graphics tablet for your Mac, making for an excellent companion for anybody using Adobe Photoshop and similar software. Designed to work through Wi-Fi or a USB connection, Astropad Studio boasts improved responsiveness and features, shortcuts, gesture controls, and more.

Your iPhone can be a valuable tool when it comes to healthier living, thanks in part to the built-in Health app which you can use to keep tabs on health and fitness data. But the best iOS apps can aid in that cause, tracking your exercise, monitoring what you eat and helping you get a better night's sleep.

You need all the help you can get when it comes to losing weight, and the calorie-counting capabilities of Lose It can come in really handy.

The best parental control apps for Android and iPhone | Tom's Guide

This iOS mainstay lets you log both meals and exercise activity. You also enter in some personal information — weight, height and goal weight — and Lose It calculates how many calories you can consume each day to stay on plan for losing weight. A barcode scanner helps capture nutrition data, and Lose It also has the ability to sync exercise information with other apps.

When you go for a run, make sure that Runkeeper comes with you. The app uses the sensors in your iPhone to track your physical activity. In addition to runs, you can also use Runkeeper for cycling, hiking and anything else where you're logging distances. Runkeeper becomes even more of a must-have if you've got an Apple Watch, as the app works with Apple's smartwatch, too. Good health doesn't stop with your body, and Headspace can be a big help in getting your mind right.

The mindfulness app features guided meditations designed to calm you down and take a minute or two to breathe and clear your head. Even if meditation is not your thing, Headspace offers a sleep aid section that looks to put you in the right frame of mind at bedtime to catch some serious z's. You don't have to rely on Apple's built-in apps like Podcasts or subscription services like Apple Music and Apple TV Plus to find something to enjoy in your idle hours.

We've found some entertainment apps that deserve a place among the best iOS apps. Online TV and movie streaming used to be simple: go to Netflix for almost everything. But as the online video streaming market becomes increasingly fragmented and producers and networks scramble for exclusives to make their own streaming service stand out, it can be a pain keeping track of where to go to watch a particular show or movie series.

Enter JustWatch , a service that keeps track of the latest offerings from 37 different streaming services, showing you where and when to watch a particular TV show, covering big names like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime Video.

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You can search for a particular series or browse through what's new. The app also offers latest movie trailers and showtimes, complete with one-click Fandango bookings for your local cinema. Instead of paying out for a complete ebook or audiobook, Serial Box gives you the option of buying or subscribing to shorter, episodic content in bite-sized chunks of novels that are perfect for your commute or break time.

You can get the full story at a discount via a season pass. Enter Stingray Qello , which lets you stream live recordings from a vast array of artists, including Queen, The Rolling Stones and Coldplay. You can also turn to the app to check out concert films, documentaries and episodes of live music shows such as MTV Unplugged. The free tier of the app includes one or more free tracks from each show, plus channels of concert moments and highlights and a selection of free concerts.

Why spend a ton of money on ebooks if your local library already has a digital media lending system? Simply sign in with your library card and then you can browse your library's digital media collection, allowing you to search for titles, set holds, borrow ebooks and audiobooks with a tap, and return or extend a lend just as easily. You can preview books from the app, downloading borrowed titles or streaming them to your phone or tablet if you prefer to save space. Your iPhone can be a great travel companion, especially with some of these travel-focused apps in tow. And know the weather at your destination with the help of a top weather app.

If you do a lot of traveling, you need Hopper on your iPhone. Sure, the app will let you look up airfares and hotel rates. But Hopper's really power lies in its ability to predict future discounts.