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The 6 Best iPhone Parental Control Apps of 2023

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With 70+ parental control apps on the App Store, it can feel like you're searching for a needle in a haystack, right? Which one do you choose, and which one will actually work for your family?

Most of these apps promise to manage screen time and filter out adult content, but the reality is that our clever kiddos often outsmart them. Trust takes a hit, and the science of behavior change goes out the window.

In this article, we share six innovative parental control platforms that truly stand out and cater to your family's unique needs.

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1. Carrots&Cake

Carrots&Cake is an award-winning app designed for children aged 2-10. It’s grounded in the latest research in behavioral neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science. With a 4.85 star rating on the App Store, it reportedly triples kids’ daily educational app usage while halving overall screen time. It’s no surprise the app’s popularity continues to grow.

What sets Carrots&Cake apart is its unique approach to screen time. Instead of offering only ways to restrict kids, Carrots&Cake promotes learning by emphasizing educational apps. Like the time-honored parenting directive, ”Do your homework before you play." Carrots&Cake tells kids, "Eat your Carrots before your Cake.” Kids must first complete learning apps before their device unlocks for free time. It makes screen time both enjoyable and productive. 

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Their approach has the added bonus of balancing dopamine levels. The app takes into consideration the science around a child’s developing brain. This helps to avoid the tantrums that accompany rigid restrictions.

Carrots&Cake follows an approach grounded in behavioral neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science.

Behavioral Neuroscience

Carrots&Cake promotes healthy screen use by reducing the firing of the brain's reward pathway. Dopamine levels stay balanced. This helps kids remain in control of devices and reduces tantrums when it's time for kids to come off.

Behavioral Psychology

Asking kids to first complete Carrots — learning apps with a high cognitive load — results in delayed gratification. This develops resilience & grit. Kids learn to self-regulate. Motivational interviewing is used to help kids identify their intrinsic motivation and improve behavior.

Cognitive Science:

With Carrots&Cake, kids focus on learning without distractions. Through micro-learning, kids compound knowledge with small but consistent daily effort.

Conclusion

As Carrots&Cake continues to gain popularity, its community of satisfied users continues to grow; here is what some of them had to say:

"Carrots&Cake gets kids to take agency and learn to self-regulate." - Dr. Clifford Sussman, MD, Child Psychiatrist & Addiction Specialist Featured: NY Times, TIME Magazine, ABC.

"Yesterday, my son got off his iPad. No argument, and no begging for more time. Really happy with this app." - Va Dad 43, Review from the App Store.

Carrots&Cake provides a healthy and balanced solution to the screen time dilemma. Kids benefit from technology, they utilize the cutting-edge educational apps on the market, and they get to maintain their agency during fun free time. Parents using Carrots&Cake have reported a 200% increase in their kids' daily educational app usage, with a 50% reduction in their overall daily screen time.

With Carrots&Cake, kids no longer spend mindless hours watching YouTube and playing Roblox and Minecraft. Screen time becomes healthy and balanced. Kids develop skills to become good digital citizens, and families can reclaim quality time.

Price:  $9.99/month, available with a 14-day free trial

Suitable for: Parents of children aged 2-10

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WHY YOU SHOULD TRY THIS APP:

  • The app is backed by science and has proven effective in helping children develop healthy screen time habits. Adult content sites are blocked by default.
  • Carrots&Cake reduces screen time tantrums by progressively alerting children when their time will be up. When screen time is done, it’s done. No negotiations.
  • If you don’t already own educational apps, Carrots&Cake will recommend a list tailored to your child.

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID IT:

  • This app is designed specifically for children and may not be suitable for teens
 
Key Takeaway: Carrots&Cake is the #1 parental control learning app, with an impressive 4.85 rating on the App Store. It's built by parents and developed with doctors, teachers, and scientists to help kids develop healthy digital habits that make screen time more beneficial and less addictive.

Carrots&Cake has become the go-to solution for families seeking a responsible way to introduce their kids to technology. But how does it compare to other popular parental control apps like Qustodio? Let's find out.

 

2. Qustodio

Qustodio is a top-rated parental control app for iOS, ideal for parents looking to keep a close eye on their children's online activity. The app's various features include blocking pornography, tracking incoming and outgoing calls, real-time alerts, and detailed reports.
Qustodio also offers age-appropriate settings for different age groups, making it easy for parents to customize their children's online experience. With a 3.9/5 rating on the App Store, it's clear that many parents have found Qustodio to be a reliable and effective tool.

Qustodio provides various tools that allow parents to manage their children's digital lives effectively. Parents can access web browsing history, set time limits for specific apps or websites, receive notifications when suspicious activities are detected, filter out inappropriate content from search results and social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, and track their child's location using GPS technology (with opt-in).

One App Store review reads:
“It’s nice to be able to oversee their activity & set controls as needed. Overall we have been very satisfied with the ability to monitor, steer & hold our kids accountable, which would be near impossible to do otherwise” - m1b2u3l45.

PRICE: $54.95 to $137.95/year, available with a 3-day free trial

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WHY YOU SHOULD TRY THIS APP:

  • Qustodio can support up to 15 devices, making it a great choice for families with multiple devices to monitor.
  • It's designed to help parents control and monitor their children's digital well-being, giving them peace of mind.

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID IT:

  • Compared to other parental control apps, Qustodio is on the pricier side.
  • The web filtering feature can be unreliable. Kids can bypass it using a VPN.
Key Takeaway: Qustodio provides various tools that allow parents to manage their children's digital lives effectively. Parents can monitor web browsing history, set time limits for specific apps or websites, receive notifications when suspicious activities are detected, filter out inappropriate content from search results and social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, and track their child's location using GPS technology (with opt-in).

Qustodio is a great iPhone parental control app for 2023. OurPact promises to offer the same level of protection with its innovative features. Let's take a closer look at this popular app.

 

3. OurPact

OurPact is a leading iOS parental control app that empowers parents to manage their children's device usage remotely, anywhere, and any time. With OurPact, you can set daily limits on apps and websites, block distracting content with a single tap, or schedule blocks for specific times of the day. The app also allows you to track your child's location in real-time and receive notifications when they arrive or leave designated locations. In addition, the app provides activity reports showing what sites have been visited and what apps have been used during a given period.

The app has a stellar 4.4/5 rating on the App Store and is one of the most popular parental control apps available in 2023. One of the standout features of OurPact is its remote blocking capabilities, which enable you to instantly cut off all internet access from any device connected to your home network with a single tap. This makes it easy to enforce screen time limits and ensure that your child is using their device responsibly.

In addition to its high ratings, OurPact is also incredibly popular among parents and experts due to its user-friendly interface that makes parenting more manageable than ever before.

PRICE:

$6.99/month, available with a 14-day free trial

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WHY YOU SHOULD TRY THIS APP:

  • OurPact has an intuitive and easy-to-use design, making it simple for parents to set and monitor screen time limits for their children.
  • The app can be used on up to 20 child devices, making it a great choice for larger families or those with multiple devices.

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID IT:

  • Many OurPact users have reported it takes a while to set up, and the app can sometimes be glitchy.
 
Key Takeaway: OurPact offers features such as setting screen time limits for your kids, scheduling, GPS geofences around specific locations, and more to help parents keep their kids safe online while still allowing them to enjoy their devices responsibly.

If you're looking for an all-in-one solution for managing your child's digital life, OurPact is an excellent choice. Now, let's take a closer look at Net Nanny - another popular iPhone parental control app in 2023.

 

4. Net Nanny

Net Nanny is a comprehensive iOS parental control app that not only blocks inappropriate content but also provides monitoring and time management tools for parents to ensure their children's digital safety. Unlike other apps that simply block websites, Net Nanny analyzes web pages and allows parents to create their own filters to cater to their family's needs. With detailed activity reports, parents can monitor their children's screen time habits and set limits on device usage to ensure they engage in other activities like playing outside or doing homework.

Although it has a rating of 2.8/5 on the App Store, Net Nanny remains one of the most popular parental control apps available in 2023, thanks to its user-friendly interface and comprehensive feature set. Parents have praised it for its ease of use, making managing digital safety easier than ever before.

PRICE: $39.99 to $89.99/year, available with a 14-day free trial

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WHY YOU SHOULD TRY THIS APP:

  • The app features an easy-to-use Family Feed, which makes it simple to keep track of your family's digital activity all in one place.
  • With real-time notifications, you'll receive alerts whenever your kids search for or access dangerous content online, giving you peace of mind.

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID IT:

  • Setting up custom internet filters can be a tedious process and may require some technical know-how.
  • Some users have reported issues with the app losing connection to the internet, which can be frustrating and may hinder phone usage.
 
Key Takeaway: Net Nanny has a variety of features that make it one of the most comprehensive parental control apps available. The app goes beyond blindly blocking websites, it analyses pages letting you create your own filters to cater to your family's needs.

With its robust security measures and comprehensive tools, Net Nanny is one of the best options available for iPhone parental control. Now, let's take a look at Screen Time to see what it has to offer.

 

5. Screen Time by Screen Time Labs

Screen Time provides parents with the tools they need to take control of their kids' digital devices. This app, as you may have guessed, is all about keeping track of how long your little ones spend on apps, games, and browsing.

With Screen Time, parents can see which apps their kids are using, how long they're being used for, and even which websites and social media platforms have been visited.

Want to control access to apps and activities based on the time of day? No problem. Screen Time has got you covered with various timing mechanisms.

What sets Screen Time apart is its unique reward system that enables parents to incentivize their kids with additional screen time for completing chores or good deeds. This feature has become a favorite among parents, making Screen Time one of the more popular parental control apps available today.

With a 3.5/5 rating, Screen Time proves to be a worthy contender among the more expensive options currently available on the market.

PRICE:

$6.99/month, available with a 7-day free trial.

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WHY YOU SHOULD TRY THIS APP:

  • With an intuitive design, this app is easy to use and navigate, making it simple to set and monitor screen time limits for your child.
  • The app features a task/reward system, which parents have said can act as a strong motivator for kids to develop healthy digital habits.

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID IT:

  • While the basic version of the app is affordable, there are additional upcharges for location tracking and content filters which can add to the cost.
  • Some users have reported issues with the app not accurately tracking screen time or being temperamental. 
 
Key Takeaway: With a 3.5/5 rating, Screen Time proves to be a worthy contender among the more expensive options currently available on the market.

If limiting your child’s screen time is your main priority, the Screen Time app is a great choice. However, for more advanced child safety features, Bark may better suit your needs. Let's take a closer look.

 

6. Bark

Bark offers powerful tools to protect kids from digital dangers like cyberbullying and sexting. Bark alerts parents whenever potential issues like inappropriate content or cyberbullying are detected. The app features monitoring of text messages (SMS/MMS), emails, YouTube videos and comments, social media accounts like Facebook Messenger, and potentially dangerous websites. It also tracks location history, sets time limits for device usage, and blocks apps and websites if necessary. You can customize alerts for specific topics or keywords of concern.

With millions of users worldwide, Bark is one of the most popular parental control apps, thanks to its comprehensive set of features that make it easy for parents to stay informed about their kids' online activities.

  • PRICE: $14/month with a 7-day free trial
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WHY YOU SHOULD TRY THIS APP:

  • With real-time alerts, this app can help keep your child safe online by notifying you when they may be in trouble or at risk.
  • You can connect unlimited devices to your account, making it easy to monitor multiple devices and keep your entire family safe.

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID IT:

  • Some users have reported that setting up the app on iOS can be a lengthy process, which can be frustrating.
  • Additionally, some users have mentioned that there are too many alerts, which can be overwhelming, and that the app does not have any safe-driving features. Others reported alerts can be sluggish and delayed.
 
Key Takeaway: Bark is a popular and highly rated parental control app that offers powerful tools to protect kids from digital dangers, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and inappropriate content. Its comprehensive set of features makes it easy for parents to stay informed about their children's online activities.

With so many parental control apps to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. However, Carrots&Cake stands out from the competition in a few key ways. Let’s check out how.

why c&c is the obvious choie

 

Why traditional Parental Controls fail, while Carrots&Cake works

They address the wrong problem:

Kids don’t like hearing “no.” It triggers reactance - negative behavior caused when kids feel they are being ordered around. Kids become determined to engage in the forbidden activity. While traditional parental controls might work temporarily, they don’t curb a child’s desire to go online or change their behavior during screen time.

No support for withdrawal

When kids game and stream videos, their dopamine levels spike. A high dopamine level can lead to aggression and poor impulse control. It’s linked to ADHD, binge eating, and addiction. When an activity is cut off dopamine levels plunge. Without support, kids experience confusion and tantrums.

Kids break out

With traditional parental controls, kids can tweak default times, reinstall their favorite apps, and reset passcodes to bypass restrictions.

Conclusion

As parents, it is important to be aware of the different iPhone parental control apps of 2023 in order to ensure our children's safety and well-being. We have looked at the top six, comparing their features, price, rating, popularity, and reviews. 

Each app has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into consideration when making a decision on which one is best for your family.

Parents, it's time to take back control of your kids' screen time. With Carrots&Cake, you can easily monitor and manage the digital activities of your children in a balanced and responsible way that emphasizes learning. The app is built with doctors, teachers, and scientists so parents can trust their child’s online experience will be secure while also helping them develop healthy habits around technology use. 

Download the app now to start protecting your family & enjoy a 7-day free trial!

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FAQs in Relation to Iphone Parental Control Apps in 2023

Is there a parental control app for iPhone?

Yes, there are various parental control apps for iPhones. Carrots&Cake is an innovative solution that helps parents keep their children safe online and manage their screen time in a healthy way. It's designed to be easy to use and understand, with features like content filtering, activity monitoring, and device management that give parents the power to set limits on what their kids can do online. With Carrots&Cake, parents can ensure that their children are using digital devices responsibly while still having fun.

What is the best app for parental control on Apple devices?

The best app for parental control on Apple devices is Carrots&Cake. Designed using science-based solutions, Carrots&Cake is a parental control learning app for kids. It's built by parents and developed with doctors, teachers, and scientists. Carrots&Cake helps kids develop healthy digital habits that make screen time more beneficial and less addictive.

With Carrots&Cake, kids learn first and play later. The app applies the oldest parenting technique to screen time: "Do your homework before you play." In other words, "Eat your carrots before your cake." Once parents download Carrots&Cake, they select their favorite educational apps (anything available in the AppStore.) When kids turn on their devices, they have to complete the educational apps — Carrots — before they can enjoy free time — Cake.

How can I monitor everything on my child's iPhone?

Carrots&Cake is the perfect parental control app for monitoring your child's iPhone. With the app’s comprehensive suite of features, you can easily keep track of screen time, set limits on apps, and help your child build long-lasting positive screen time habits.

Check Out: Top 10 Educational Apps for Kids

Jack Newenham

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