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Times Up for Kids

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A simple but effective tool for limiting a child’s use of a device. A parent or teacher can set a time limit for a child, and the app will lock down the device after that limit with a series of pop-up alerts. Useful but un-polished, this app has received an EAS Certification of 4 Stars.

Teacher Review

Time’s Up For Kids is a very simple utility app. It allows a parent or teacher to set a timer for the use of an iPod, iPhone or iPad. They can set this timer to anywhere between 1 and 98 minutes, after which a series of alerts will pop-up, blocking the child’s use of the device.

Beyond this there is also the ability to add users to the app, and the ability to track how many times each user has set a timer over a number of days.

The app’s biggest drawback is its lack of usability; upon opening the app, the first thing I was presented with was a prompt to enter a passcode. I had no knowledge of a passcode, and had not set one beforehand, but eventually managed to guess it from a list of commonly used passcodes (I won’t say it here in case anyone using the app hasn’t changed it from the default). As well as this, when changing between users you don’t choose from a list or enter a username, instead you press a button in the app to cycle through the configured users. It took me a while to figure out that the button had a purpose, as there isn’t much noticeable feedback from pressing it.

In terms of functionality, the app works wonders, but not necessarily out of the box. The first time I used it, I set it for 3 minutes, after which a stream of banners began telling me my time was up. For those unaware of the difference, an alert is the pop-up you get on your iOS device which you need to push a button to progress, whereas a banner is the notification you get at the top of the screen which then goes away. I found that by default the app was using banners rather than alerts, and while this is changeable in the settings, it would be nice for alerts to be used by default. Banners do not stop the user from using the device; they just make it rather annoying to do so.

In summary, I found that the app fulfilled its goal, but unfortunately was in need of more usability testing and feedback, and was generally un-polished. And for a paid app (£2.49 at time of writing), a little polish is expected.

Screenshots

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From the Developer

Time's Up for kids is a simple app that allows you to set limits on the amount of time children use an iPhone or iPad or Ipod touch. Parents set a time length, press start and pass it to their children. After the time expires, a series of notifications will prevent the children from using the device until parents enter the correct passcode.

Recreational and educational potential of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch make it a favorite of parents and children. Screen Time is a simple solution to help set and control limits to your children's interaction with an iPhone or iPad.

After the time expires, a series of notifications will prevent the children from using the device until parents enter the correct passcode. By default the passcode is 1234 and this can be changed in the settings menu.

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