Verizon has announced that, starting today, its parental control product, FamilyBase, will be updated and renamed. The new parental controls application, called Verizon Smart Family, will allow parents to manage aspects of their children's smartphones, such as content filters and screen time limits.
Up to six family members can use the application, which offers a variety of ways for parents to monitor how children use their phones. Content filters allow you to block objectionable websites and content in categories such as violence and drugs, alcohol and gambling, or restrict access to certain applications. Parents can also block unwanted contacts, see their children's text and call history, and check how much battery they have left.
The limits can also be established in the use of the telephone in several ways. The application allows the Wi-Fi of the device to be paused instantly or to set data targets. You can also set time restrictions, for example, if you want to reserve uninterrupted time for homework at night. Other customizable limits include the minutes used for calls, the number of text messages, and the monthly purchase quantities.
Finally, there is a location tracking, which not only shows where the child is through the location of their phone, but can also send a notification of sending to the parent if they leave a predetermined area.
Many of these features, such as time-based usage blocks and data limits, were already part of Verizon's FamilyBase controls. Location services and the ability to monitor individual applications seem to be the most important additions. The application has also received a visual design update.
Several home routers already have integrated parental controls, such as Eero and Google Wifi, but, of course, these controls would only apply if the child was at home using their phone's network. Meanwhile, companies like Apple already have some built-in parental controls to moderate and restrict content and usage. The company says it plans to make these existing controls "even more robust" in the future.
Although Verizon's Smart Family app is technically free, if you want to use its services, the base subscription rate is $ 4.99 per month and includes everything except location tracking and alerts. Those features are included in the premium subscription of the application, which is $ 9.99 per month.