T-Mobile this morning announced the launch of T-Mobile FamilyMode, a new feature that is designed to let parents monitor and control what their kids are doing on their internet-connected devices.

T-Mobile FamilyMode service is available via a FamilyMode app and can also be used with an add-on device called the FamilyMode Home Base, which is designed to connect to a home's Wi-Fi system to provide access to connected devices.


FamilyMode from T-Mobile will let parents manage, monitor, filter, and set time limits for a range of devices, even those that aren't connected to the T-Mobile network thanks to the Home Base. It will also provide location services for keeping track of kids.

According to T-Mobile, it will work with phones, tablets, gaming consoles, laptops, smart TVs, and other Wi-Fi connected devices.

T-Mobile is charging $20 for the FamilyMode Home Base and $10 a month for the FamilyMode app, which controls the FamilyMode system. The FamilyMode feature will be available to customers starting on June 29.

tmobilefamilymode
Device monitoring and time management features to cut down on device addiction have become popular in 2018. The newest version of Google's Android operating system includes Android Dashboard for monitoring time spent on a device and setting limits, and a similar feature, Screen Time, has been included in iOS 12.

Screen Time includes comprehensive monitoring of the amount of time spent using iOS devices, along with detailed parental controls and app limit features.

T-Mobile isn't the first carrier to join the device monitoring trend. Verizon in April announced "Smart Family," an app that lets parents track screen time, set content filters, monitor location, and more. Verizon's option does not include hardware and is priced at $4.99 to $9.99 per month.

Top Rated Comments

stiligFox Avatar
76 months ago
Perfect for helicopter parents all around the world!

I understand that every situation is unique and I don’t have children yet, but I feel having meaningful discussions about the internet (more than a simple “don’t do that”) as well as setting time limits on internet access would be better than just idle spying.

Granted, I can imagine more troublesome children will need monitoring; but as a whole I feel like this sets up a feeling of no privacy, and just gets kids used to the feeling that they are being watched always, either by parents or corporations or governments, so what’s the problem of not having privacy?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deeddawg Avatar
76 months ago
I understand that every situation is unique and I don’t have children yet, but I feel having meaningful discussions about the internet (more than a simple “don’t do that”) as well as setting time limits on internet access would be better than just idle spying.

Granted, I can imagine more troublesome children will need monitoring; but as a whole I feel like this sets up a feeling of no privacy, and just gets kids used to the feeling that they are being watched always, either by parents or corporations or governments, so what’s the problem of not having privacy?
Bingo. You don't have children. That's okay, it just means you don't have the benefit of seeing stuff first hand.

Some people's kids are pretty good about keeping out of trouble. Some people's kids aren't. Often, though not always, it's more to do with the child's personality than it is the parenting.

Lots of content for kids is great. Some of it isn't, despite it initially appearing so. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-39381889

As parent you (ideally) tailor your parenting to the individual child's needs. Yes, you have discussions. To the degree you can, not every 8-year old really understands "why" they can't do what they want. As the child grows and matures you expand the boundaries. Give them freedom appropriate to their personalty until you have reason not to -- but *as* a parent you still need to keep an eye on what's going on so you can address an issue while it remains small. Particularly given the amount of predators out there and the new/different ways they stage an attack.

So yes, trust the child to make good decisions. But you still need to verify at some level and to some degree. Without becoming a helicopter parent.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Architect Avatar
76 months ago
This is simply a Family Circle device (https://meetcircle.com) - often branded as Circle by Disney. One of payment, no monthly subscription.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glen Danielsen Avatar
76 months ago
I'd like to announce to fellow parents of the world that are completely SLACKING ...

a HUGE upside the face, strong like a withewall bat, full arm extended, wet open-hand SMACK across the back of the neck.

it's getting really sad and pathentic that there are technology software enhancements that allow parents to watch over their kids instead of:

Loving your kids
paying attention to their likes/dislikes and growing needs from BIRTH,
showing kids how to responsibly use and augment technology,
building and maintaining a form of TRUST real world trust where your word is your BOND!
applicable punishments/withdrawals of said tools and other benefits many, like ever child does at some point take for granted,
instilling them with sound self confident ideals like a job, rewards of feeling good for taking care of responsibilities and positive encouragement to enforce these as life long habits even when at times it's not met by the kids.
[doublepost=1530008451][/doublepost]Great insights, Deep. So crucially important; thank you. Wondering though: how about using only the time-limit feature WITHOUT the monitoring privacy-invading feature. Teens can accept that there are limits to TV, social media, etc. Those things are too often addicting.
So, not parental snooping, but rather a cutoff timer. What do you think?


I'd like to announce to fellow parents of the world that are completely SLACKING ...

a HUGE upside the face, strong like a withewall bat, full arm extended, wet open-hand SMACK across the back of the neck.

it's getting really sad and pathentic that there are technology software enhancements that allow parents to watch over their kids instead of:

Loving your kids
paying attention to their likes/dislikes and growing needs from BIRTH,
showing kids how to responsibly use and augment technology,
building and maintaining a form of TRUST real world trust where your word is your BOND!
applicable punishments/withdrawals of said tools and other benefits many, like ever child does at some point take for granted,
instilling them with sound self confident ideals like a job, rewards of feeling good for taking care of responsibilities and positive encouragement to enforce these as life long habits even when at times it's not met by the kids.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stiligFox Avatar
76 months ago
Bingo. You don't have children. That's okay, it just means you don't have the benefit of seeing stuff first hand.

Some people's kids are pretty good about keeping out of trouble. Some people's kids aren't. Often, though not always, it's more to do with the child's personality than it is the parenting.

Lots of content for kids is great. Some of it isn't, despite it initially appearing so. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-39381889

As parent you (ideally) tailor your parenting to the individual child's needs. Yes, you have discussions. To the degree you can, not every 8-year old really understands "why" they can't do what they want. As the child grows and matures you expand the boundaries. Give them freedom appropriate to their personalty until you have reason not to -- but *as* a parent you still need to keep an eye on what's going on so you can address an issue while it remains small. Particularly given the amount of predators out there and the new/different ways they stage an attack.

So yes, trust the child to make good decisions. But you still need to verify at some level and to some degree. Without becoming a helicopter parent.
Very true info and I do agree very much. After giving it some thought there are definitely things I wouldn’t want my children to stumble upon (besides the obvious). YouTube, even YouTube Kids; even stuff marketed for kids like Bobs Burgers and the such are too inappropriate in my opinion until someone is older.

And don’t get me started on half of the garbage in Netflix Kids.

Thank you for your reply!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeepIn2U Avatar
76 months ago
I'd like to announce to fellow parents of the world that are completely SLACKING ...

a HUGE upside the face, strong like a withewall bat, full arm extended, wet open-hand SMACK across the back of the neck.

it's getting really sad and pathentic that there are technology software enhancements that allow parents to watch over their kids instead of:

Loving your kids
paying attention to their likes/dislikes and growing needs from BIRTH,
showing kids how to responsibly use and augment technology,
building and maintaining a form of TRUST real world trust where your word is your BOND!
applicable punishments/withdrawals of said tools and other benefits many, like ever child does at some point take for granted,
instilling them with sound self confident ideals like a job, rewards of feeling good for taking care of responsibilities and positive encouragement to enforce these as life long habits even when at times it's not met by the kids.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
apple vision pro orange

Apple Vision Pro Customer Interest Dying Down at Some Retail Stores

Monday April 22, 2024 2:12 am PDT by
Apple Vision Pro, Apple's $3,500 spatial computing device, appears to be following a pattern familiar to the AR/VR headset industry – initial enthusiasm giving way to a significant dip in sustained interest and usage. Since its debut in the U.S. in February 2024, excitement for the Apple Vision Pro has noticeably cooled, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On...
top stories 20apr2024

Top Stories: Nintendo Emulators on App Store, Two New iOS 17 Features, and More

Saturday April 20, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
It was a big week for retro gaming fans, as iPhone users are starting to reap the rewards of Apple's recent change to allow retro game emulators on the App Store. This week also saw a new iOS 17.5 beta that will support web-based app distribution in the EU, the debut of the first hotels to allow for direct AirPlay streaming to room TVs, a fresh rumor about the impending iPad Air update, and...