Two years ago we expropriated smartphone from our kid because being a game maniac he spent all his time playing games (even at the lessons). Instead we bought a very simple dialer with no any games inside. However, now we're thinking that it could be possible to buy a smartphone for him - but only in case there's a technical possibility to do the following:
- limit time spent in certain apps, (e.g. allow only 5pm-9pm and not more than 2 hours totally),
- limit possibility of installing new apps (only with our approval),
- limit categories of Web-content,
- view activity reports.
I know nothing about iOS and iPhone, but in Android it's impossible to fully fit the above mentioned 4 requirements - because even if we install some parent control utility, the kid can simply hard reset the smartphone with three buttons, and then start using a new Google account (if the utility was bound to his account); after that the utility no more controls him. To avoid this scenario, we'll need to regularly check his smartphone, but that's not what we want to spend our time for.
You may say that after such hard reset he'll also loose the home WiFi connection settings - and you will be right. But even if he doesn't know our home WiFi password - there are other (public) WiFi spots available, there's 3G/4G connection in the phone itself, and there's also a possibility to install any Android app from .apk-file using USB-cable or memory card.
So it seems that Android does not offer a 100%-reliable solution. Or maybe I am wrong? Maybe somebody has invented a working solution?!
Besides, maybe in iOS there are more chances to solve our problem? I'm not familiar with iPhone, so I have a little hope here )
PS: we've solved the same problem with his desktop PC using the built-in parent control from Microsoft together with a password for his Windows account (which we enter each time), but in this case we do not need to worry about "hard reset": kid cannot run any Setup.exe to reinstall Windows (app white list is set up), and BIOS is password-protected to prevent selection of boot media other than drive C:.