If you watch the Ellen Degeneres show you may have seen the Circle promoted a couple of weeks ago. Last November I got the chance to try out the Circle by Disney and share it with you all. Well I have had 6 months to give it a good test run and I must say I love it. We have not had one inappropriate video or image pop up while my kids are playing on their Ipads.
So what is the Circle? The Circle is a device that allows you to take control of how long your kids are on their devices, what they see and play. It also allows you to set bedtimes, awake times and times you don’t want them to have the ability to be connected. Plus you can see exactly how much your son or daughter is on their device each day and also monitor any device that is connected to your wifi that enters your home. Amazing and all from your Android or Iphone.
In order to protect your kids on any device you have to take an active role in knowing what they are doing when they are connected. After we had a slight indiscretion on my son’s part we decided to be better parents in this regard. Sometimes this is as easy as having them be in the room when they are on their devices. But as the kids get older this tactic seems harder to accomplish. The Circle, I have found, to be the answer for our home.
The Circle is now available for Android and Iphone users. And they just announced two awesome things. First of all there is free shipping going on right now. Secondly, they now have a subscription service called Circle Go for IOS users. Before Circle Go you could only protect the devices that were connected to your home wifi. Well with Circle Go you can now keep those devices protected when they are outside your home. It is $9.95 a month but if your children spend a lot of time at other people’s houses, sleepovers, etc. I think it is worth the investment.
My only complaint about the Circle is that I have it autoset to child settings for anyone that enters our house. So every time a guest wants more access they have to ask. I often forget and they spend a few minutes trying to figure out why they can’t watch a Youtube video (we have this featured disabled in our house as of now), connect to the app store when all of the sudden I am like, “Oh yes I have to un-Circle you!’’ But it is a small price to pay to have protection for when it matters.
Many times my son will ask permission to watch Youtube and I can give him permission by simply giving him access via the Circle. In 30 minutes I can change the feature back. It is really nice and creates accountability for our family. I highly recommend it! For $99 it really is a good deal to have the protection you want for your home.
We bought it at Christmas not knowing it wasn’t avaluable to Android users then. So we returned it. Glad to see it now is available. So you know if it blocks viewing videos on Nintendo DS’s too?
Oh bummer! yes it is now available on Android and yes it picks up your Nintendo DS as long as it is connected to the Wifi in your house.