A Child-Safe Android Experience

Carrie wants to let her kids play games on her Android phone. She asked the Cell Phones, Mobile Devices forum for a safe way to do that.

I've found one solution to this problem, although it's not a perfect one. The $2 Smart Lock 2.0 allows you to

create a kid-friendly environment that can only launch the applications you approve. Once you launch and lock this environment, the only way to load an unapproved app is to get passed your phone's pattern lock.

The free Smart Lock Lite doesn't offer this feature.

The Child Lock feature takes quite a bit of work to set up. Placing the actual apps in the "Approved Launcher" is easy enough. But the first time you press the Lock Approved Launcher button, you'll find yourself having to change a couple of Android's security settings before you can turn off your screen, turn it back on again, and have a child-safe phone.

There's another problem: Pressing the Home key will take you (or your child) to your logon page rather than to Smart Lock's Approved Launcher. Your kid will be locked out of the phone until he or she can get your attention so you can unlock the phone, go to Smart Lock, lock the Approved Launcher, and turn your screen off and on again.

Read the original forum discussion.

Add your comments to this article below. If you have other tech questions, email them to me at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

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