Keep your Children Safe Online With SmyleSafe for iOS – Review
SmyleSafe is more than an alternative to your main browser on your iOS device. It resides over the same principal but fills in some advanced parental control features which might be lacking from your iOS browser of choice. The developers of SmyleSafe have created this application so that it makes it easier for parents to monitor both what their children have been looking at and where they’ve been. Retina Software (the developers) have built a simplistic browser, which might suit people of a younger age, and elaborated on it with very advanced safety and parental control features to ensure that kids and teens of all ages are aware of internet safety and are being safe on the internet.
If you’re part of a large family of different age groups, this application is particularly useful due to versatile amount of criteria points you can specify for each person within your family. There are several presets for this in which you can add to by blacklisting certain URLs which aren’t covered by the presets. The presets are: “Preschoolers (3-6years)” “Young Kids (7-13 years)” “Teens (14-17 years)” “Older Teens (18 and above)”. As you can rectify from this plethora of different options that the developer has tried to include a good sense of versatility into their application. Upon choosing your age group, your child will be presented with a list of suggested, appropriate, websites they should visit, every time they launch the application. We feel that this is good encouragement for children to look at more appropriate and potentially subconsciously educational websites as opposed to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (which are blacklisted for most age groups).
The inclusion of your iOS device’s location services has been implemented exceptionally well on this application as it builds on those already advanced safety features and compliments them very nicely. Geo-fencing is implemented as part of the inclusion of location services. This feature allows you to set certain boundaries for your child so that you can track them when they’re out and about. If they go past the geo-fence, both them and you’re notified by email so that you can take action. Overall, we feel that the location services feature on this application has been very well adapted to the iOS interface.
Alongside this, the developer has included one of the most necessary parental control features used in the internet industry. Timing controls have been included so you can set up the length of time a child can use the internet at any given point. You can also set the time of day they can and can’t use it e.g. School hours.
You can tell that this application has been developed for people of a younger age as the developer has included the option to change the color scheme throughout the application in its entirety. This might be a useful feature also as it could be utilized to distinguish between different people’s user accounts.
We feel as if the developer has forgotten the UI (User Interface) and that it’s important for the application to gain a good reputation and to generally appeal to the user. The web browser itself is not aesthetically pleasing at all, and alongside this it is not even particularly functional – due to the lack of a Google search bar and easy shortcut features. We feel that the developer has just focused on the idea of making the application safe for young users and forgotten about the user interface entirely. In addition to this the developer advertises the application to have just inherited the addition of pinch to zoom, however this appears to have been done improperly due to the persistent lag present upon the majority of web pages viewed under testing conditions. The overall experience when navigating around this application is cumbersome. Overall this application lacks fluidity; upon navigation around this application we’ve noticed in some circumstances that buttons have to be pushed a second time in order for them to operate. We’ve never experienced this before on any application so it has come to our surprise that this has happened. Despite this we’re relatively confident that the developer will identify this and fix it in a future update, only time will tell. Upon this we have also come to the conclusion that the graphics haven’t been payed attention to at all – and the lack of Retina support for the iPad adds to this disappointment.
Alongside the relatively high price point of $4.99 for this application we feel that the developer hasn’t been particularly productive with their updates and we would expect more time and money to be spent on the development of this application when you put into consideration the amount of money the developer is making from each download. For example, when turned to landscape on the iPad letter-boxing on all websites occurs so no addition screen real estate is gained from changing the orientation of your device.
There is no doubt that this application has amazing potential and has everything going for it. It already includes some vital and advanced features like geo-fencing and timing preferences. With an incredibly powerful and advanced online dashboard, SmyleSafe is a definite solution to keep a track of the sites being visited.
TheAppleGoogle Rating 8/10