Google’s Family Link is a popular choice for parents who are looking to control their children’s smartphone activity. With a name like “Google” attached to it, it is no surprise that the app is so widespread. In this article, we’ll take a look at what Family Link has to offer and compare it to MMGuardian to see which app offers the most control and child safety.
Family Link Parental Control App Features
Family Link is primarily focussed on setting restrictions such as screen time and app usage. The main functions are:
- Control what apps your child can use
- Approve or block apps being downloaded from the Play Store
- Monitor total screen time
- View reports on your child’s app usage
- Set daily time limits for the device and apps
- Lock the phone according to schedules or manually
- Get the phone’s location on command
One of the biggest benefits to Family Link is the price – it’s totally free.
However, Family Link does not offer any monitoring capabilities and as this New York Times article points out, the child can choose to lift the restrictions themselves when they turn 13, making it perhaps less useful for parents with teenagers.
MM Guardian Parental Control App Features
MMGuardian has a more extensive list of features than Family Link including:
- Screen time and app usage restrictions similar to Family Link
- SMS text and social media message monitoring
- AI-powered alerts to parents for messages of concern and inappropriate pictures
- Comprehensive web filtering with browsing history reports
- Automatic location tracking
- Blocking of calls and SMS text messages
- And much more!
MMGuardian offers virtually every feature that Family Link offers and even improves on some. For instance, while Family Link can block the downloading of apps from the Play Store, there are many other ways of downloading apps. MMGuardian provides parents the option to automatically block any app when it is installed, regardless of the source.
MMGuardian also comes with a large number of monitoring capabilities. Parents can view SMS texts and chat messages in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Discord, and more to make sure they aren’t talking to anyone they shouldn’t be. MMGuardian will additionally send AI-powered Safety Alerts to parents if it detects anything concerning in the messages such as bullying, suicide, drugs, sexting, violence, sexual predators and inappropriate pictures.
Finally, unlike Family Link, MMGuardian is also available for a child’s iPhone, although some of the functions that are available for Android are not possible for an iPhone. However, the critical functions of text message monitoring with Safety Alerts and inappropriate picture alerts are possible.
As of June 2021, MMGuardian has alerted parents:
- 398,344 times about cyberbullying
- 604,402 times about suicide ideation or depression
- 452,121 times about drugs or substance abuse
- 203,535 times about violence.
- 82,658 times about suspected child predators
- 1,820,592 times about inappropriate language
- 2,779,986 times about inappropriate pictures
For an in-depth overview of MMGuardian’s capabilities, check out our MMGuardian Review.
Conclusion – Which parental control app to choose?
Family Link is perhaps a good choice for a very young child’s first phone when parents may be only concerned about controlling their child’s screen time and limiting internet access to pre-defined websites.
However, MMGuardian is clearly the better choice for parents who have older children and for parents who take their child’s safety very seriously.
Consider also joining our Facebook group “Tech-Savvy Parenting” to discuss raising kids in the 21st century with other parents.