PhoneSheriff – solid Mobile Parental Control app, a powerful tool for parents
Jan 4, 2013 4:45 PM –
PhoneSheriff is a mobile parental control mobile & web app combination, including next generation mobile phone tracking application which keeps you informed about all cell phone activities of your children or employees.
Price: Free for 7 days, $49.97/year
Tested on: Samsung Galaxy S3,
Pros & Cons:
- An easy way to monitor all the activity on a child’s phone!
- Seven day free trial to test it out!
- The app is hidden from the app drawer and installed apps, making it less likely the child will find it!
- The online logs were pretty comprehensive!
- I didn’t realize at first that, after I did the initial setup, I couldn’t get back into the app. I never did find a way to change settings there short of uninstalling and re-installing it.
PhoneSheriff is an app that allows parents to not only monitor everything their child does on the phone, but also get alerts for things like profanity or when they leave a designated geofenced location. It allows you to monitor not only calls and texts, but emails and app usage, which is great for a parent who just wants to keep an eye on things.
One thing I did find – I use Gmail for all my email needs, and while it saw that the email app was one of my most frequent, it didn’t bring up a log of the actual emails. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was something to keep in mind. You aren’t going to read every email that comes in. However, you WILL be able to see every text message, both incoming and outgoing, and what numbers they came from, in addition to just seeing which numbers were contacted most frequently.
The GPS location feature was interesting as well, doing a pretty good job of giving you a constant look at where the phone – and the child – have been, along with a Google Street View image to boot. I did notice a drain in the battery life though, so be aware of the trade off. Also, because it’s sending all this data, I noticed an uptick in my data usage. If you’re on a limited plan, odds are good your child is going to meet or exceed it all on their own, so this will likely put you over.
The app will also give you a full list of the phone’s contacts, and all the information stored on them, as well as photos and videos taken, Web sites visited, applications run and any memos or notes created. The Data Usage log will tell you exactly when the phone was on, and how much data it was using on a monthly, weekly and daily level. Calendar Entries will show you every calendar item not only created, but scheduled, as they come up. Any information associated with an event, like notes, addresses, etc. are also there in the log for you to view. You can even see what things are turned on, like WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS, as well as set up filters that prevent the child from using the phone at certain times, or from accessing certain Web sites.
All in all, this app will allow any parent to see absolutely every move a child makes with the phone. You can view all communications, see where they are, what they’re doing, and set up alerts to warn you if they do or go somewhere they are’t supposed to. It can, admittedly, be a bit creepy at just how much this app tracks, honestly, but for a parent with a child in this digital age, I don’t think you could find a better tool. Every parent will need to find balance with it, but it makes for a good way to keep track of your child and be involved in their life. You can also have it installed on more than one phone, so it’s possible to monitor multiple children at a time, from the same interface. The device status section will even let you know if its been uninstalled, so you’ll know if the child discovered it and removed it from their phone.
PhoneSheriff Logging Options
PhoneSheriff SIM Commands
PhoneSheriff Filter List
For a parent, this is invaluable. It gives you a way to silently monitor your child and make sure they aren’t getting into trouble. That said, of course a mischievous person can install this to catch a cheater or spy on a mate.
Ease of Use:
Once you set it up, the app is hard to find on the device itself. You go through the Web interface, logging in to access the logs, data, etc. I found it very easy to set up and use, although a way for the parent to go on the device and make changes to settings there would be nice. I can see why they removed that ability, though it could be protected by a PIN code or password for instance.
On the phone, you’ll use it once to set up and then not again. The monitoring, however, and the data, is a constant and done via the web interface.
The whole interface was actually very clean and easy to use. I had no problems finding my way around, or making sense of all the data that was being sent to the Web dashboard.
( out of 5)
Should you Download PhoneSheriff? I’ve tested quite a few parental control apps, and this was probably both the easiest to use, and the most robust, with a wide range of data tracking options. You can adjust what it tracks in the settings, so if you just want to keep an eye on a few things without being overbearing, you can, or you can track every single thing that happens on the phone, with no exceptions. And with a 7 day free, fully functional trial, you can give it a shot to make sure it works for your device without any problems, and gives you the information you’re looking for.
Tags: Android App
, Android Apps
, AndroidTapp.com App Review
, Child Safety
, Family Safety
, Family Security
, Mobile Parental Control App
, Parental Control
, Spy on Android Phone
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