Boomerang Parental Control vs. Google’s Family Link

Boomerang vs. Family Link

Interested in trying out Boomerang Parental Control? If Google’s Family Link is already installed on your child’s Android device, here are a few tips and clarifications in order to have the best experience with Boomerang Parental Control. We also cover the differences in features in our detailed comparison below.


Install apps from Unknown Sources

Google’s Family Link blocks access to enabling Unknown Sources. This is a key requirement for our full version of Boomerang available from our website. Before installing or updating Boomerang from our website, you will need to turn off this setting via your parent device’s Family Link app. Here’s how to disable the restriction:

On your parent phone, open Family Link app, select your child, go the Phone > Device pane > SETTINGS > Apps from unknown sources.

Accessibility and Draw Over apps Permissions

A few reports from our user base suggest that there’s a conflict with our Accessibility Permissions when Family Link is present. Refer to our comparison chart to see if Family Link is required – many features overlap with Boomerang.

Feature comparison

There may be good reasons to use Family Link as Google does extend some of its services by enforcing age ratings better than what is possible with third party parental control apps like Boomerang. Here’s a detailed overview of our feature set and how it compares to Family Link.

Mobile users: you may have to scroll to the right to see all of the details in table or rotate your phone 😉

Boomerang Family Link
Screen Time
Daily Schedule
Daily Device Time Limit
Per App Time Limit
Instant Time-Outs
Time Extensions Yes but requires a code*
Kids can request more time
*Boomerang’s Parent Mode allows parents to easily extend anytime.
App controls
Block any app ✅*
Allow any app
Exempt apps from Screen Time
Approve newly installed apps
Kids can request an app to be unblocked
*If app is in use, it won’t get blocked until its closed
Call Monitoring
Call blocking
Call logging
Text Message safety
Text message logging
Keyword detection
Allows YouTube app
Only allows YouTube Kids No
Reports on YouTube Search History
Reports on YouTube Watch History
Family Link only allows YouTube app once child is 13
Safe Browsing
Blocks millions of inappropriate websites ⚠️
Enforce SafeSearch for Google Search Yes, as long your child is 13 and younger. 
Web history reporting
Block specific domains
No incognito mode (Private browsing)
⚠️Try to block mature sites
not as detailed as our SPIN safe browser
Location Tracking
Track device location
Set geofences (virtual fences)
Notable mentions
Stops monitoring when child turns 13 years old Keeps working
Allows more than one parent to control
Requires removal of any other Google Account already on the device
Requires a Google account for your child Just a parent’s email
Requires a credit card to try
Pricing Purchase options
1 Child Device: $USD15.99
1 Family Pack: $USD30.99
(up to 10 devices)

Information accurate as of April 3rd, 2019. Something needs updating? Leave a comment below.

Recommendations and Tips

Get Boomerang Parental Control today

Boomerang for Android devices

Download now. Free 14-day trial, fully functional, no credit card required to get started. Just your parent device, one child device and your parent email.


Dad, Cyber Safety Influencer, Product Evangelist, Avid Cyclist, Hobbyist Musician. Battling the constant love/hate with tech.

This entry has 4 replies

  1. Family Link is very limited in functionality.

    • Agreed – missing call and text logging. We actually have a few users that use both Boomerang and Family Link together but we normally recommend using one as there’s a lot of overlap.

  2. Andrea says:

    Will Boomerang monitor Google Hangouts, Gmail content, or Discord?

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