Samsung has developed its very own parental control solution: the Kindermodus app, available in Samsung’s own App Store. The app is well thought out, but has some points of criticism: Apps from toy manufacturers are pre-installed and products from competitor Google cannot be unlocked.
Published on 11.09.2017
Why secure mobile phones?
Anyone who hands their child a smartphone should secure it beforehand. Depending on age and type of use, different methods are suitable.
In most cases, a user account or a restricted user account is recommended. However, these functions are not available on Samsung mobile phones. Instead, Samsung has developed the so-called child mode.
What is the child mode?
Children’s mode is an app that can be downloaded from Samsung’s own app store. It is only available for Samsung devices. The App Store is pre-installed on all Samsung devices. If you search there for “child mode”, you will find the app immediately.
If you install the app and then open it, you can configure your own user interface that the child sees. For example, you can specify which apps the child can use and which pictures, music files, movies and contacts he or she should see. You can also set a usage time.
Once the children’s mode is activated, you can only see this user interface on your mobile phone and can only leave it again with a secret code.
For whom is the children’s mode suitable?
The app is well suited to give your own device to a child for a certain time without having to supervise it directly. However, the design of the app is very rigid and more appealing to younger children.
Slightly older children, who may already have their own mobile phone, take it to school and share it with friends, will probably not accept this app. There are much better products for this use, for example the JoLo child safety lock.
Criticism: Marketing for the little ones
Samsung’s business interests are reflected in the app without any changes: Some Samsung apps are permanently pre-installed in children’s mode, including the Samsung children’s app store. These apps cannot be removed.
The apps from the toy manufacturers Lego and Brio are also pre-installed in children’s mode. This comes suspiciously close to a hidden advertising campaign.
Other apps, on the other hand, cannot be unlocked in children’s mode, including all products from competitor Google. If you want to make Google Maps available to your child, for example, look into the tube here.
In addition, the authorizations that the individual functions require are not traceable. For example, the camera needs access to SMS and telephone – if you refuse access, it does not work.
Conclusion: a matter of balance
To temporarily share your device with a young child, the child mode is pretty well thought out. Especially the possibility to share certain phone numbers, videos, pictures and music is not available in other comparable products. If you can do without it and just want to unlock a few apps, the App Kids Zone is a better choice.