Kids hate it when their parents spy on them, but good parents are invested, concerned, and tuned in to what their kids are up to. That can be harder once kids have their own tech, such as computers or smartphones. For parents who want to help protect their kids online, an iPhone app called AppCertain works as a great form of parental control, and helps to monitor the apps your kids are downloading.
What is it and what does it do
AppCertain allows parents to track apps that their kids have downloaded, and provides info about the educational quality (or lack thereof) about those apps. AppCertain also offers the ability to turn off all non-essential apps on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch!
- Emails you automatically when a new app is downloaded onto a device
- Great way to track apps that could be interfering with your child’s focus
- Easily see if an app allows in-app purchases so you can help your kid make responsible financial choices
- Quick registration and install
- App is free, but activating profiles on devices will cost you a small fee
- Depending on your parenting style, you may find this app too invasive, and fear that spying on your kids is more likely to turn them against you and cause friction
Arguably, the best part of this app is the reporting feature. Not only do you get notified when a new app is installed on a device, but you get a brief report about the app itself. Granted, you could sort of do that yourself with a bit of Googling or App Store research, but it is nice to get basic info in a simple, easy-to-digest packet.
Info in the app reports includes whether or not an app allows in-app purchases, whether the app has any educational value, whether it allows content sharing (which is a term that seems a bit broad and could probably be segmented to be more specific), ads, location tracking, or access to adult content.
Overall, this app gets high marks for being user friendly. The reports are simple to digest, the app is simple and fast to set up, and the app gives parents better peace of mind. For every parent out there who says “If you don’t trust your kid to use a smartphone responsibly, don’t give them a smartphone,” there is an opposing parent who says, “But how else will they learn, if not through trial and error?” Regardless of your personal parenting style, it’s clear that this app is useful and provides a service that is helpful to some.
Conclusion and download link
AppCertain is a useful app, but no one app can replace parenting skills. If you’re going to use this app, it’s probably a good idea to talk to you kids about why you want to use it. The older your kids get, the more they are likely to resent this kind of interference. However, an app like this is good for younger kids, who aren’t yet developed enough to make responsible choices. Just remember: no app is a substitute for the parenting power that one honest conversation can have.
Version reviewed: 1.2.3
Supported OS: Requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Download size: 2.1 MB
AppCertain  on Apple App Store