We have our very popular Always Allowed app list feature where parents can choose apps they feel are of high quality for screen time use. Once on this list, these apps do not count down the child’s daily usage limit. Typically we see parents adding apps of an educational nature to this list. Now what about other apps like games and social media? Here’s a list we’ve compiled that lists the top 10 most popular apps by time collected across all of our users. The amount of hours are most likely a lot less than those not using our app to control screen time, bedtimes and overall app controls we provide.
For parents using our latest version of Parent Mode (available for Android and iOS devices), parents can now block, allow or add apps to the Always Allowed list on their child’s Android devices anytime.
By far the most popular among kids. We also have a unique approach with YouTube where parents can review viewed history and searches made by kids. When parents turn on Restricted Mode inside the YouTube app, we can also block access to this area so kids do not go and change this setting.
Kids love to share photos of themselves and it’s not surprising Instagram is number two in our list. Tip for parents, made sure your kids app is using the Instagram best practices in this post for security and privacy settings.
This is a surprise one in third place but many kids are using this app to communicate, video chat and more. This is especially true outside of North America where WhatsApp is very popular.
4. SPIN Safe Browser
Seeing our own safe browser number four in terms of hours spent means kids are surfing the web in a way safer manner than with browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. SPIN Safe Browser can be used as a standalone browser that blocks websites proactively and enforces safe searched in Google, Bing and Yahoo or with Boomerang Parental Control.
Second most popular app for tweens to teens and it’s not surprising to see Snapchat in our top 5 most used apps (remember this is with screen time limits and controls). We have some great tips for parents to check out on Snapchat here.
Facebook account creations are typically used to use Facebook Messenger. But just like WhatsApp, in many countries outside of North America, Facebook is one of the more popular social media platforms for kids to communicate with family and friends.
7. Android Messages (Text Messages)
The stock Android app, Messages, is our highest used text messaging app (it’s also the best one when it comes to a consistent experience in logging information from it for parents monitoring via Boomerang).
8. YouTube Kids
Even though this app has some built-in parental controls, we love the fact that parents are using our app to limit time spent on YouTube Kids. YoUTube kids provides a curated/filtered view of YouTube that is more child friendly. But as everything online nowadays, no filter is 100% accurate and there are some gotchas as per this article.
This one is interesting and we have some ideas as to why this happening. We are looking at adding our SPIN Safe Browsing web filtering technology to Chrome in 2018. Remember, with Boomerang Parental Control, we also block all installed (like Chrome) and any not yet installed web browsers automatically.
Looks like the leading binge watching app made our top 10 but interesting that’s in 9 out of 10 positions. The Netflix app didn’t originally have a great set of parental controls but have recently improved this. read more on how via NEtflix’s post on How do I set parental controls on my Netflix account?
10. Facebook Messenger
Another chatting app and it will even handle texting on Android devices (if you let it). Kids use it just like other chatting apps and is popular where kids are using different devices (like an iPhone and Android phone). It doesn’t require a cellular data connection – just Wi-Fi! It provides a consistent experience for chatting, sharing emojis, knowing when the person was last online, when they are typing, etc.
Honourable mentions go to
- Clash Royale
- Samsung Messages