Time for the May update from Boomerang For Parents.
Last year we started a project named “What’s in it for the Kids?”, bringing more kid-friendly features to our App. Kids were able to request more time and see their device usage. Now kids will be notified when 5 minutes and 1 minute remains in their screen time. Kids can then make better choices!
From your child device, visit our special download page and update your child device. After updating, please restart your child’s device – to get refreshed properly.
- Better awareness of the Google Play Version: Previous releases from our special download page would allow Google Play to update it. This would break our Safe Calling and Text Features. This release no longer allows the Google Play version to update it. This will make sure our Safe Calling and Safe Texting features are not overwritten.
- Child Mode – Local Screen Time notifications: kids will get a heads up prior to the scheduled, allocated and per app timers on their device. These are currently set to notify your child 5 minutes prior to the limit and again 1 minute before we block the app or device. Your child can always request more time via our Family Messenger and you can extend it via our Parent Mode.
- Google Assistant Search improvements: We’ve improved how we handle searches done via Google’s Assistant. In most cases we pass the search directly to our SPIN Safe Browser. For all other scenarios, we simply block searches are we cannot enforce safe searches.
- Improved our Require Password for Uninstallation feature: we now also block the access to the device’s main Permissions list under Settings > Apps > App Permissions. We protected ourselves under our app listing but not under this area, now we do! If you need to make any changes to other apps’ permissions, simply disable Boomerang first.
- Fixed an app timer bug – example that was reported was: if you set a 15 minute time limit on some apps like YouTube or games, we didn’t always block it in time and kids could keep playing it well beyond the time limit.
- Fixed a Child Mode app usage reporting bug in our reports for per app time limits. Our Parent reports would be way higher than the child’s device (child device being accurate).
Questions of the month
What does “gp” and “sideload” mean?
GP is the version from Google Play without Call/SMS permissions and Sideload is the version from our website with Call/SMS permissions. We use these abbreviations in our app version numbers in order to inform parents which version is installed on their kids device (and it helps us troubleshoot too!) If you are looking for our call/text features, make sure your child’s device has the “sideload” version which you can confirm in our Parent mode.
Family Link vs. Boomerang?
We’ve learned that Google’s Family Link blocks access to allowing app installs from unknown sources. This has made the installation of Boomerang’s full version from our website a challenge for a few users. Learn more how to turn it off here. Also check out our new detailed comparison of how Boomerang compares to Family Link.