Technology is advancing faster every day. So is the savvy with which our children are able to learn and use the technology put in front of them. All of my children love using our mobile devices to play games, search for information and videos, and connect with their friends. We like to feel as though we are being vigilant by knowing what sites our kids are visiting and limiting the time they have access to our devices. This is why I was eager to review OurPact, a parental control app that, when set up, will allow for parents to manage the sites their children visit as well as the amount of time spent on a mobile device.
OurPact went live for iOS in 2015, and it is currently developing an app for Android shortly. Amir Moussavain, the Founder and Chairman of OurPact, was concerned about the positive and negative aspects of the Internet, and he wanted to protect his two daughters from the influence that social media and device use can have over its younger users. He created OurPact to help parents monitor what their children encounter while they are on their devices, and also limit the time they are fixed to the screen.
The app was really simple to install. We then followed the instructions provided by the app, and then set the settings we wanted to have for the device in question. For this review, it was the iPhone our children use from time to time. You can also use the Dashboard to control other iOS devices so you do not have to go on to each individual device to make these changes.
With our younger children, we tested the Parental Time Lock feature. This feature allows for parents to set a fixed amount of time their child can spend on any given device. It will then no longer allow access to that user until access is granted again. Using the OutPact app, we scheduled 15 minutes of access to a game from the Dashboard. We then spent time with our other children, waiting for time to run out. Like clockwork, each of our little ones came charging at us, letting us know that the game has “shut off.”
My eldest daughter REALLY likes using her phone. She chats with her friends over her favourite social medial channels and loves playing games. The Scheduling, Block/Allow function really came in handy with my teenager. We set up a schedule for her to use this device around her daily routine for a few days to see how it would allow for her to learn how to rely less on-screen time so we can get more face time with her. After a few days, she got used to the schedule, and on days when she did not have homework, we adjusted the schedule to give her a few extra minutes of use.
We also really enjoyed using the Scheduling, Block/Allow function to map out some of her responsibilities around our home. We were able to schedule what she was responsible for doing around the house, giving her alerts when she was to get up and do them, and denying her access to this device until they were accomplished and approved by us.
Overall, the OurPact app is a great tool to get you children to start to understand that there is a time and place for using a device. This app also blocks apps and websites you do not want your children to have access to. It was also simple to use and it did not take too long to start using the app effectively. I cannot wait for this app to be available for Android, as we also have phones using this operating system.
You can also download the OurPact app for FREE from the App Store for iOS users by clicking here!