On Thursday, April 19, Verizon announced the redesign of “FamilyBase” — its parental controls app for iOS and Android. Now known as “Smart Family,” the app allows parents to control their kids’ phone use such as the type of content they can view, the amount of screen time they have, and more for $5 per month.
The new redesign is not only brings a fresh look to the app, but provides parents with an easy-to-use interface and controls. The app sets out to provide parents with tools that allow them to give their kids a more healthy and balanced experience when using smartphones.
Using the app, parents are be notified when their kids are on their phones or check the battery status, and will also receive a summary of their kids’ call and text activity. They can see what their kids spend the most time on, whether it’s texting their friends or scrolling through a social media app.
To keep from being too distracted while studying or doing homework, parents are also able to pause their kids’ ability to use the internet on their smartphone and limit access to calls, texts, and data. Through the app, parents can check off specific days of the week and times they want to keep their kids from using their phones.
For safety precautions, there’s content filters to limit what kids can see on their phones — parents can block inappropriate apps and websites. They’ll also have the baility to approve or block most social media, messaging, and gaming apps.
For even more capabilities, parents can instead opt for the Verizon Smart Family Premium app — which is a bit more expensive at $10 per month. Under the premium plan, parents can also use location tracking on top of the features already available in the standard app.
With location tracking, parents can see where their kids are based on the location of their phone and will be notified when kids leave or arrive a pre-defined area. This includes receiving push notifications to their phones letting them know their child has arrived safely back home.