MMGuardian vs Screen Time – Which Parental Control App Is Better?

Here at MMGuardian, we believe our app is by far the best parental control app available to parents who want to protect their children and have peace of mind. In this review, we will provide you with an honest comparison of the premium features available between MMGuardian and Screen Time for Androids and iPhones.


Note: The features available depend on the child’s device. The parent’s device does not make a difference. It’s also worth mentioning that Screen Time is different from Apple’s native parental controls of the same name on iPhones.


Message monitoring


Android– MMGuardian allows parents to view all of their child’s SMS text messages, as well as chat messages from popular social media messaging apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and more. Screen Time does not offer message monitoring of any kind.


iPhone– MMGuardian allows parents to view all of their child’s SMS and iMessage text messages, as well as chat messages from popular social media messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Screen Time does not offer message monitoring of any kind.




Alerts


Android– MMGuardian provides AI-powered alerts about concerning topics detected in the child’s messages and internet browsing such as contact with predators, cyberbullying, suicidal thoughts, inappropriate pictures, and much more. MMGuardian also offers a large number of other alerts (such as apps being downloaded, adding new contacts, contacts being changed, the device being powered off, etc). Screen Time does not offer alerts.


iPhone– MMGuardian provides AI-powered alerts about concerning topics detected in the child’s messages and internet browsing such as contact with predators, cyberbullying, suicidal thoughts, inappropriate pictures, and much more. Screen Time does not offer alerts.




Anti-tamper


Android– MMGuardian has patented anti-tamper technology to prevent children from bypassing it. The developers frequently release updates to address any new loopholes that are introduced from phone updates. Parents can also download a version of MMGuardian directly from the company instead of the Play Store which can even block the child from using safe mode to bypass or remove the app. Screen Time has basic removal prevention such as requiring a password to uninstall the app, but anti-tampering capabilities are limited, and there is no way to stop children from using safe mode to get around the app.


iPhone– Due to Apple’s restrictions, parents will need to use the iPhone’s native Screen Time controls (found in the child’s phone’s Settings) to prevent the child from uninstalling both MMGuardian and Screen Time.


Web Filter


Android– Both apps allow parents to view their child’s browsing history and block or allow websites based on categories or specific URLs. They can also both monitor most browsers, including incognito modes.


iPhone– Screen Time does not currently offer web filtering for iPhones. MMGuardian requires the parent to install the MMGuardian app which will act as a web browser. Parents will need to be sure no other browsers are installed and can disable disable the App Store and Safari on the child’s device to ensure they do not have access to another browser. MMGuardian allow parents to view browsing history and to block websites individually or based on categories.




Location


Android– Both apps allow parents to retrieve their child’s location on demand and view their current and past locations on a map. MMGuardian also allows parents to create schedules during which their child’s location will be retrieved automatically. Screen Time recently introduced geofencing to notify you if your child leaves a preset location. MMGuardian used to have a geofencing feature, but it was removed due to the imprecise nature of GPS hardware on phones rendering it not very effective from our experiences.


iPhone– Only MMGuardian provides on demand location retrieval for parents. Both apps allow parents to view their child’s location history.


App Blocking


Android– Both apps allow parents to block or allow specific apps and view their child’s app usage statistics. MMGuardian will alert parents to new app downloads and allow parents to view the install/uninstall history of apps. Additionally, MMGuardian allows parents to create groups of apps that they can assign daily time limits or block schedules, offering a lot of flexibility.

MMGuardian also provides parents with the ability to set any apps that are downloaded (from any source) to be blocked automatically so that their child can’t use them until the parent manually unblocks them. Screen Time offers a similar feature to allow new apps to be automatically added to current restrictions.


iPhone– MMGuardian allows parents to disable all downloaded apps, either according to a schedule or on demand. You are not able to disable apps individually. You can also set restrictions on apps based on age. Screen Time doesn’t include manually disabling or enabling apps, but you can do so through daily limits and schedules (see “Phone Locking” below).




Phone Locking


Android– MMGuardian allow parents to lock the phone completely, only allowing the child to contact the admins or emergency contacts. This can be done manually for a set amount of time or according to schedules. Screen Time also offers this function according to schedules, once a child has reached a set amount of screen time, or instantly. However, instead of a lock screen like MMGuardian, Screen Time blocks apps and gives parents the option to control which apps are and are not blocked. Screen Time does give parents the ability to easily extend the daily limits temporarily via a “task” feature. It also provides a bedtime blocker specifically geared towards making blocking apps during your child’s bedtime convenient.


iPhone– Neither app offers a way to completely lock the phone down due to Apple’s restrictions. Screen Time does allow parents to block all downloaded apps according to daily limits or schedules vs MMGuardian which offers this feature on demand or according to schedules.


Contact Blocking


Android– MMGuardian allows parents to control who their child is able to communicate with. Parents can create a list of contacts to either allow (and all others will be blocked) or block (and all others will be allowed). All texts to and from blocked contacts will be blocked. Blocking calls will depend on the operating system on the child’s device. If it’s Android 9, you’ll need to download the app directly from us to block calls instead of the Play Store. For Android 10+ phones, only incoming calls can be blocked. Screen Time does not offer contact blocking of any kind.


iPhone– Due to Apple’s restrictions, neither app offers contact blocking features.


Pricing


MMGuardian

Screen Time (Covers up to 5 devices)



MMGuardian offers a 14 day free trial, and Screen Time offers a 7 day free trial. We highly recommend trying out both apps and seeing which works best for you!

 

You can also check our MMGuardian vs Verizon Smart Family article to make the best decision about which parental control app is the most suitable for you and your child.

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