Children are starting their online journeys from an increasingly younger age. In a world with cyberbullying, trolls, inappropriate content, and even online predators are lurking, monitoring and restricting your child’s online behavior has become more critical than ever. This article will focus on iOS, which is used on iPhones and iPads.

If you are looking for parental control apps for your child’s iPhone or iPad, you will find plenty of options, some free, some paid. Certain apps will not be much more than a porn blocker, while others could be considered full spyware and even block some Youtube channels. They allow you to track the device’s location, read the contents of Snapchat, Tinder, and WhatsApp, and even listen in on calls. Which software you should choose depends on your family’s needs and budget.

We have compiled a top 10 of the best parental control apps for iPhone and iPad. We ranked them based on which features each app offers, the quality of the features, and the value for money.

mSpy

mspy calling callsmSpy is the most commonly used spy app that can also .be used as a parental control app. This app will give you the ability to monitor almost everything on your child’s smartphone. It can read SMS, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Messenger, and give you a list of contacts and calls made. It is also a keylogger, recording every keystroke typed on the device. It will provide you with the ability to block certain apps, restrict internet access, block individual sites or categories of websites.

It also features a roadmap of every location the device has been, and where it is now. It will help you know when and where to pick your children up, and you can use geofencing to set up certain areas where you do not want your child to go. Every time the device enters one of these restricted geos, you will receive an alert.


Pricing:  $16.65 per month (12 months Premium)
Number of features: ★★★★
Quality of features: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★

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Highster Mobile

highster mobile dashboard

Highster Mobile is a reliable software to monitor your child’s iPhone. The app doesn’t require jailbreaking. Using Highster Mobile, you will easily get access to all text messages sent and received (even deleted), Instagram posts, Snaps, Facebook messages, calls and contacts, Internet browser history. It also includes geo-fencing, meaning you can get alerts every time the device enters a restricted zone on the map. Apart from other mentioned features, with Highster Mobile, you can:

  • Capture every keystroke with a keylogger
  • Take screenshots
  • Record live calls
  • Make remote videos
  • Track other social media: WhatsApp, Skype, Tinder.

With this cell phone monitoring app, you will have complete control over your target device from anywhere and anytime. Besides, it is an excellent app not only for iPhone and iPads but for all Android devices and OS versions.

Pricing: $29.99/month (Basic) or $69.99/month (Pro)
Number of features: ★★★★
Quality of features: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★

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Qustodio

qustodio interfaceUnlike the three services that take up the top spots, Qustodio is not a spy app that doubles as a parental control app. Instead, it is a simpler app, which markets itself primarily as a parental control app. Its main functions are:

  • Blocking pornography
  • Monitoring time spent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp
  • Setting limits to screen time
  • Blocking apps or setting time limits for them
  • Tracking calls and reading SMS
  • Location tracking and Panic Button

While these features all work very well, there are considerably fewer options when compared to mSpy or FlexiSPY. Especially since you cannot access the contents of social media messages, plus, there is no keylogger. Nevertheless, this is probably enough for most parents. The Small Plan comes in at $54.95 per year and allows you to protect up to five devices, which should be enough for a small family. It also has a free trial version that you can use for several days and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pricing: $54.95/year
Number of features: ★★
Quality of features: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★★

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iKeyMonitor

ikeymonitor interfaceiKeyMonitor is a more advanced parental control app. This app will monitor almost every chat app conceivable, including Tinder, Snapchat, Viber, Facebook, Instagram, and Skype. It can track location, record screenshots, record calls. It also offers geofencing and allows you to record the phone’s surroundings, using video, photo, or audio. Cost $179.99 per year ($16.66 per month) yearly payment, or $49.99 per month with monthly payment. That puts it at just a bit more expensive than FlexiSPY Premium, and a bit cheaper than mSpy Premium. There is also a free version, which you can use for up to three days.

Pricing: $179.99/year or $49.99/month
Number of features: ★★★★
Quality of features: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★

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NetNanny

netnanny interfaceNetNanny is one of the best parental control apps, focusing specifically on what your children can watch or access on the internet. It features different profiles for content filtering, allowing you to monitor multiple devices with different settings. It can also be used to track location, and it can block unwanted apps. However, it cannot access contacts, calls, SMS, and in-app messages, making it somewhat limited compared to other options higher on this list. For $54.99 a year, you can block content for up to five different devices, including Android, Windows, Kindle Fire, and iOS.

Pricing: $54.99/year
Number of features: ★★
Quality of features: ★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★

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Norton Family

norton family interfaceNorton Family usually comes free with of Norton’s most expensive Antivirus suite, Norton Security Premium. It offers many features to monitor your child’s device. It contains location tracking, time scheduling, content filtering, and monitoring options for both iOS and Android. App management and text message monitoring are not available for iOS and are exclusive to Android for now. The pricing, however, is more than reasonable. If you are looking for a good antivirus, you can get it for as little as $55 per year, with Norton Family as a bonus. Of course, there are fewer options, especially for social media and chat app monitoring, but it is an excellent value for money. You will also be pleased to know that you can try the software free for 30 days!

Pricing: $55 per year
Number of features: ★★
Quality of features: ★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★★

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Kaspersky Safe Kids

my kaspersky interfaceKaspersky is another antivirus software that also offers parental control options. The software allows you to monitor your children’s activities on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. It provides location tracking, geo-fencing, content monitoring, and screen time management. The free version is simply a browser that limits browsing time and blocks harmful content. The paid version has a child locator/GPS tracking software, a battery tracker. It will send you real-time alerts if your child accesses areas, opens bad websites, or downloads harmful apps. The paid version comes in at just $14.99 per year. For that, you can monitor a whopping 500 devices for 100 children, making it an excellent solution for large families and schools alike. You cannot read any messages, however, making the software somewhat limited.

Pricing: $14.99 per year
Number of features:
Quality of features: ★★★★
Value for money: ★★★★★

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Ourpact

ourpact interfaceOurpact is still one of the most powerful parental control apps for iPhone or iPad. It is one of the only iOS apps that can manage or block all other iOS apps. It is suitable for monitoring screen time, and it also functions as a content blocker. It comes in three versions:

  • Free version: This will only allow you to set up schedules to manage screen time.
  • Plus: The Plus version will give you schedules, 5 app blocks, and unlimited app grants. Cost: $1.99 per month.
  • Premium: The Premium version has more options, including app Rules, Allowance, Family Locator, places, and text blocking. Cost: $6.99 per month.

Even the premium version is minimal compared to mSpy or FlexiSPY, with no options for monitoring content sent by app or SMS. However, if you want an app blocker, schedule manager, and location tracker, this app might be enough.

Pricing: $1.99/month (Plus) or $6.99/month (Premium).
Number of features:
Quality of features: ★★★
Value for money: ★★★★★

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MMGuardian

MMguardian interfaceMMGuardian has almost every feature you could want. However, certain features are lacking in the iOS version. iOS users can block specific sites, receive browsing reports, receive image alerts, and access the child’s location. It comes with a free 14-day trial version, and an annual subscription only costs $19.99. It is an excellent option if you need to check on your child’s location and block unwanted web content, and not much else.

Pricing: $19.99 per year
Number of features:
Quality of features: ★★★
Value for money: ★★★★★

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FlexiSPY 

flexispy location

FlexiSPY Premium offers standard features: social media monitoring, messenger service and calls monitoring, etc. The Extreme version takes spying on phones to another level. This version will notify you whenever the device receives a call, giving you the option to listen in and record the call. It can record WhatsApp, Line, Skype, or Messenger Calls. You can also use it as a way to record the sound around the phone, make photos and videos remotely with the phone’s camera. You can even use it to send fake SMS messages from the target device without the user knowing. Though some of these options may be a bit Extreme, as the app is rather expensive and not affordable for many families. 

Premium Pricing: $149 per year  Extreme: $349/year.
Number of features: ★★★★★
Quality of features: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★

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Conclusion

While there are many budget options available for parental control apps, most are somewhat limited. They offer basic location tracking, website blocking, and screen time management. More advanced features such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, Skype, Messenger, Facebook, SMS, and Call monitoring are priced from $149 (FlexiSPY Premium) per year and up. It comes down to less than $13 per month, a small price to pay if you suspect your child might be in contact with the wrong people. Additional services, such as ambient recording, call recording and controlling the camera remotely cost just a little more. Choose the right service to protect your children.

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