Technology rarely blows me away. In fact, oftentimes it seems to make life more complicated than it was before; However, the relatively new app, Our Pact, has made managing screen time, smart phones, and everything in between so incredibly simple and has given me the peace of mind that is often absent when it comes to technology.
I downloaded the app a few weeks ago, and it was so easy to use and effective I had to let my readers know. This is not sponsored, I just love it that much. It will truly change your family’s electronic life and put you back in control, while allowing age appropriate freedom and trust. Here is what it can do for your family:
- Create schedules: For each device you own, you can set a usage schedule. For older family members, you may only set a bedtime schedule that blocks the phone from 10pm-6am. For younger family members, you may have not only bedtime, but homework time, family time, play time, etc. We love blocking the phone during school. During these blocked times of day, your child will not be able to access their phone, unless you set the app on “always allowed.” As soon as the block is lifted, the phone is back on. This is especially useful if the teen’s phone is used as an alarm clock, if they read on a device, or if you have a child who likes to sneak their iPad into bed at night.
- Block Apps: Many parents don’t mind their kids having a smart phone but want to block access to certain apps. Our Pact allows you to block apps that you don’t approve of at any time. You can also block the App Store, Internet Browsers, and Google Play so that additional apps cannot be downloaded.It allows you to see every app on your child’s phone, so there are no hidden apps. This feature is fantastic! If your child uses his or her phone at school, but you don’t want them wasting time there, you can block the gaming apps until homework is finished. If you only want your child using social media when you can monitor things, you can block the app until you are together and can supervise. So cool!!
- Limit Screen Time: This option is the greatest to help kids learn how to monitor the amount of time they spend on technology. It allows them to prioritize what is most important to them on their phone or tablet, and then spend the rest of their time doing other things. It is especially helpful for parents who can’t be as vigilant as they want to or who don’t want to fight about screen time anymore. You can set a screen time limit per device each day and when the screen time runs out, the apps that are on “scheduled,” are no longer accessible. I love that it sets real boundaries for kids and allows them to manage their own screen time. If they only get two hours each day, they can choose carefully how they will use it and then get creative with the rest of their time.
- Block on the spot: One of the features I love about Our Pact is the chance to block the device any time! We were at a play and I saw my son pull out his phone to check a text. Since that is an inappropriate place to use your phone and he didn’t exhibit the control I wanted to see, I blocked his access until we had a conversation about when and where to use a phone. You can do this anytime, as often as you need to, regardless of the schedule you have set. I also love this if you think your teens have spent too much time on their phone in one day…it offers them a forced break.
- Locate Family: In addition to all the other great perks, it can also tell you exactly where your child’s device is at all times. Also helpful if misplacing expensive technology is a problem for your family.
- Block Adult Content: OurPact allows parents to block adult content on all browsers, which is amazing! Be aware that the adult content can’t be blocked inside apps, but this can give you some peace of mind.
- Amazing New Features: OurPact has figured out how to be smarter than our kids and now offers TONS more options to regulate the phone and screen time. Options to have certain websites always blocked or always allowed, disable app removal, disable siri or Airdrop, Disable passcode changes, disable factory reset and other great options. I love the improvements that are constantly being made to this app.
- Sign a Contract: I love Our Pact because it not only provides controls but gives parents tools to start conversations about healthy screen time, smart online communication, and the appropriate place for technology in our lives. As you go through and set schedules, app rules, and screen limits, you can use the contract they provide to decide together the best way to use technology.
So, now that you know what it can do for you and your family, here are some questions you might want answers to:
Q: Is it hard to install and use?
A: That depends. It is a bit of a pain for iOS devices, but the effort is worth it, I promise. For all other devices it was a piece of cake!
Q: My child is pretty good at getting around things. Can they take it off?
A: It isn’t easy, but it is possible; however, if the app is ever removed from a device, the parents are notified immediately. If you need any technical help, you can contact Our Pact for suggestions on using it with very tech savvy kids. They are very responsive. The new update gives you options to disable removing apps and resetting to factory settings, so this should make it even harder to get around!
Q: Does it run through a router? Is it easy for my kids to turn off?
A: No. Other controls run through routers which means they only work when they are on and when your children are inside your home. This is an app that cannot be turned off or worked around.
Q: Can I control their phones and tablets even when I am not with them or when they are out of our home?
A: Yes! You do everything from your phone, so you can be in another country and still be able to block, schedule, and allow for all of your devices.
Q: What are the drawbacks?
A: Your kids will fight you a bit on it for sure, but stay strong! They will thank you in the long run. The other problem we have had is if the phone is not on good wifi, it can be difficult for kids to pause and start their time.
Q: I have multiple children with multiple devices, how many can I control?
A: Depending on the plan, you can control as many as 20 devices from your phone.
Q: Sounds pretty amazing, how much will this cost me?
A: Our Pact offers three different plans:
- FREE: This free plan offers you one device and one schedule. It can allow you to, at the very least, set screen free sleep hours, which is good for everyone.
- $1.99 per month: This middle plan allows you to control 10 devices. On those devices you can set unlimited schedules, and you have access to unlimited blocks and grants on those devices.
- $6.99 per month: This premium plan allows you to control 20 devices. On those devices you can set unlimited schedules, have access to unlimited blocks and grants, block and allow specific apps, set screen time limits, block texts, and make use of the family locator.
I would highly encourage you to give their FREE TRIAL a shot and see how it changes the technology use in your home and after that, the $6.99 per month is absolutely worth every penny. I couldn’t love it more! If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!
To read more about technology, check out these articles:
US Students Need a Cell Phone Detox
Steps for Changing the Cell Phone Policy in Your School
10 Things I Wish I Would Have Done Before Getting My Child a Smartphone
The Dangerous Game Middle Schoolers Need to Stop
9 Things You Need to Know Before You Sign Your Child Up For Instagram
I Love You Too Much to Get You a Phone
I Left My Phone at Home, The Results Were Priceless
Does it work for IPhones? The reviews sound like it is more for Android devices.
There are some work arounds for IOS devices that very tech savvy kids can figure out if they want to. However, an alert is sent to you if they remove the software from their device. They do have some tools to help parents manage that if you child is older and tech savvy.
That is more like scam. You pay for premium and then get mail that application that manage premium features is not available… Also if cancel free trial in program, it does not cancel your billing through apple. Installation of app is painful as well. Get different app.
I am sorry it didn’t work well for you. It has been great for our family!
Hey Virginia! We do offer management of iPhones, yes. We control iOS and Android child devices, through a parent iOS, Android or Web app. 🙂 In fact, our iOS child management is the most robust in terms of features on the parental control market… Our Premium tier even lets you block iMessage!
If you have any other questions, contact [email protected].
Your “great app” hasn’t connected to our teens damn phone yet…and it’s on and on WiFi and it’s strong signal…obviously you’ve GREATLY overstated its ability and WOEFULLY understated it’s ability to be easily outsmarted
I am sorry you have had this experience. It sounds very frustrating. I don’t work for OurPact, so I would suggest you contact them and see if they can help you figure things out. We have had great luck with it and it has worked really well for our family. Twice my son has removed it, but the email alerted us and we had a conversation about how he can either have a phone with Our Pact or no phone at all. He chose to have a phone. I hope you find something that works well for your family. Cell phones and teens are really tricky.
RUN!!!! I could literally write a book about how awful it is. I have pages and pages and pages of emails back and forth and still cannot remove the monitoring of my sons phone. If you go into my account there is no child listed. Apple spent 2 1/2 hours last night trying to help and the only way we could remove it was to reset his phone. There is no telephone customer service do not make a mistake I did. My son was crying today. The woman keeps emailing me back tell me to do all these things. This is been going on for weeks. And no one at their company can do anything but tell me to try things I’ve already tried five and six and seven times. I’m intelligent mom with a bachelors degree and I work full-time and I’ve logged over 30 hours trying to remove this app from controlling my sons phone. It is almost like a stalker that won’t stop. Particularly because there is no record of him under my parent control section.
I am so sorry you had such a horrible experience. I do with they had people to talk with instead of just email, but overall our experience has been great. How frustrating for you and your son!
Congratulations for ruining kids lives and freedom! Give yourself a pat on the back
Ourpact is a joke. I put it in my teen phone and they both figured it out. All you have to do is turn your data off and all your apps and text come back on.
They have problems with iphones (it’s pretty recent apparently but still not solved after 2 months). I canceled my subcription because you can’t install ourpact jr, which is necessary to access all the features. Too bad, it was a really good app but I’ll have to find sth else for iphone.
We use the app on iPhones, so I am sorry it isn’t working for yours. It has been great for us!
I did the download on my phone and I love it,but it just disappeared from my my cell phone and I can’t find on apple store too,o googled and when I try to download it says that the app is not available on my region .
That is crazy! I am sorry, I wish I could help!
Hi! Apple has deleted this from the App Store (at least OurPact Jr), and it isn’t really functional anymore for new users unless they have an Android. Do you have any other suggestions for good parental control apps?
If you all have iPhones you can try apple’s screen time and use it on the family account settings. Not as good but better than nothing. You can also write to Apple and let them know that you are unhappy about the removal of the app. I am hoping they will bring it back.
It’s back up!!!
I’ve had this app for a while and I have it set to schedule. For some reason it’s always kicking back to grant. Does anyone have this problem or so I have a super sneaky kid? ??♀️
That is crazy. What did the OurPact people say?
How do I set one time limit across more than one device? For example, my son’s iPhone and iPad?
You can’t do that…at least not that I know of. You set different limits for each device.
Hey Leslie! Great question. If both of your son’s devices – the iPhone and iPad – are assigned to the same child profile, you would be able to send a command that is delivered to both. To do this: during the pairing process, when you reach the page where you name/assign the device you would have them both assigned to the same profile.
If you have any other questions, please contact [email protected]! 🙂
Can computer’s be added too?
I am not sure about that. Their support team is super responsive though and I would love to know the answer!
Hi Leslie! We do not offer management of computers at this time, only mobile iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, computers use a totally different operating system, which our software can’t accommodate. We apologize for any inconvenience!
On the bright side, you can access your PARENT APP from a computer by navigating to app.ourpact.com in a browser.
Let us know if you have any other questions at [email protected]. 🙂
Thanks for sharing Brooke!
This looks great. Do you know if it can also monitor and track the websites and apps the kids use? Or is it mostly just about time limits and blocking?
It doesn’t track their websites, but you can limit the apps they have access to. I love it for that.
Hey Tasha, great question! We don’t monitor/track the websites, OurPact is more for encouraging overall healthy device habits.
If your children’s devices are iOS, we encourage you to check out built-in iOS Restrictions (navigate in your child iOS devices to Settings > General > Restrictions). Using Restrictions, you can ‘Limit Adult Content’ in Safari, and then use OurPact to block any other browsers at all times. This is a great way to make sure internet browsing stays clean, while still having the control over the device and access with OurPact.
If you have any other questions, please contact [email protected].
Hi. I have been trying for the last hour to pair an iPhone. The instructions on the OurPact site are not accurate and do not work. Anyone else having this issue?
Shoot. No one I know has had this issue, but the OurPact support has been super helpful. I would shoot them an email or give them a call and they should be able to walk you through it.
Does it work on Samsung Galaxy phone? That’s what my son has and I want to get this!!!
Yes! It is actually easiest to navigate with the Samsung phone. iPhones are a little more complicated. You will love it. A life changer for us for sure!
I thought you were able to block certain apps during different schedules. Like during study time I only wanted Spotify available or during school time other apps available. Is this possible because I haven’t figured it out? Seems like you have to have the same apps available for all schedules.
I wish you could. I would love for them to come out with an update like that. The only thing you can do is make an app “always available.” For example: church and school apps are always available. I have games and social media on a schedule and on the timer. If you want to open spotify during study time, you can flip it to “always allowed” while she is studying then put it back on the timer. It is a little more work for sure, but still the best option out there. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have other questions.
After installing Ourpact on my son’s phone, the App Store was no longer accessible on his phone even though it was granted access from me.
How do we allow him to have the App Store? Is there a feature that allows for him to have the App Store while I have the authority to approve/deny apps?
I would email OurPact for support. This has not happened to us before. They have been very responsive when I have had a problem!
If your son is on a time that is restricted like during bedtime or homework he will not have access to it at all. I found that out and figured it out. I actually like that feature.
My 12-year-old boy easily deleted it from the setting of his phone. Is there any way to avoid him from deleting it?
I would contact Our Pact. There may be a way to make it harder to take off. When we had a samsung, he couldn’t take it off but when we switched to an iPhone, he could. You may want to make the deleting and adding apps always “off” in Our Pact. My son did try the same thing and I received an email right away. I told him that if he deleted it again, his phone was mine. He hasn’t tried it again.
I loved OurPact, so I decided to go with the premium version to avoid the apps scrambling on her ipad. After carefully following directions from OurPact, I started downloaded the premium version on to my daughters ipad and it completely shut down the ipad. I was forced restore the ipad to factory settings- my child was not pleased and I was super frustrated.
I am so sorry. That has not happened to us, but I know the app scrambling can be a problem. Hopefully they helped you fix it.
I am so sorry that happened! We don’t have ipads, so we have only tried it with phones!
Hi! Can i also have the same app blocking and scheduling on my own phone?
Hi Missy. I haven’t figured out how to make that happen, but there is a free app called Moment that I love for my own phone!
Don’t load this app! It still has glitches that need to be fixed. One minor one, but highly irritating to older children, is that when you block and unblock all apps on the child’s phone become unorganized. It creates MORE conflict. Furthermore, be very wary of a company that does not provide any technical or CS phone number and will not respond as needed. Customer service at OurPact is very poor and emailing back and forth is inefficient and cumbersome.
If you purchase the premium version, it will not scramble your apps. I can see how it would be a problem for an older child with a lot of apps if this happened each time. I too wish they had a phone number to call!
Hi Brooke, Thank you for your initiative. Is it possible to block individual websites using this app on a schedule ?
http://www.youtube.com ( on schedule 1)
http://www.gmail.com ( on schedule 2) ….
I wish that was an option. As I understand and use it (the premium version) anything that is on the schedule is blocked any time any schedule is enforced. However, if you want to place something on “always allowed” it will be available even when the schedule is on. Then, if you need to block it every once in awhile you can. There is an option to have always blocked websites too. Hope that helps!
Does OurPact allow for time exchange for chores the way Unglue does. I love everything about OurPact, but feel this part is missing, or maybe I am missing that part.
That would be cool! They are changing and updating it all the time, but for now I don’t see a time exchange for chores. Thanks Amanda.
Hi, i was wondering if ourpact can notify you if your child downloads an app on their phone?
Hi Kassi! With the premium version (there is a cost) you can block them from adding or deleting apps. This means they will have to come to you if they want an app. The other think I like about the paid version is that you can see all the apps they currently have in a list, so no hiding or changing app names. Very useful!
OurPact customer support is poor. Tried the Premium plan $6.99/month but each device has to be paired through the main website and from your home computer. Myself and my 15 year old son tried for 2 hours to get his paired but couldn’t get it. We reached out to their support team, but they only operate by e-mail. I had already tried all the things Ashley suggested for me to try. Response from them takes 2-4 hours by email. Very frustrating.
I am so sorry. The pairing with an iPhone is tricky and time consuming. My husband did it and it has worked well for us, but when I was trying to do it myself, I couldn’t make it happen.
Hi! Have you ever had an issue with a device becoming un-paired? I have to re-pair my child’s device at least twice a week, and I’m getting very frustrated. I can see the timing of when it is no longer paired, and I don’t think it is something he is doing, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. I have contacted the support, and while responsive, nothing has been particularly helpful l.
From what we have been through, every time it unpairs, it has been my son except once. I would have a really nice heart to heart with him and let him know that it is the only way you feel comfortable with him having a smart phone and if you can’t make this work, a flip phone might be the only answer. When that was the option, the phone stopped “unpairing itself.” There are options on iphones to make it impossible for kids to uninstall apps…I would turn that on with parental controls so he can’t remove it. Hopefully these suggestions help!
I have OurPact and one of my daughter’s friends just showed her how to delete the app from her phone!!!!!! All they have to do is go to Settings, Device Management, remove. And then that’s it, game over. Anyone know how to fix this problem!!! Apparently I have just wasted my money on an app the child can remove ?
Does she have an iPhone? You can go into Parental controls and remove her ability to install and delete apps. with your parental controls under the restrictions tab. When my son tried that, we told him he could have a smart phone with Our Pact or we would get him a flip phone instead. It seemed to do the trick.
that doesnt delete it removes the management heres the you link on how to do it.
if they dont fix this im deleting the app and saving 7 bucks a month
Does it have a something like “geo-fence” function so that you can receive notifications if the phone leaves a certain area?
It does not, but it does have the GPS tracking.
I feel like no parent should know about this app! I am 16 and my parents use this for my phone, and I Pad and since they’ve bought it they’ve blocked everything they could! I haven’t talked to my BFF in MONTHS because they’ve turned off messages (she can’t call me cause of her parents). not only that their reasoning is that I need a more “social life” WERE IN QUARANTINE! WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SOCIAL! Anyways I wish there was a restriction for parents when it comes to blocking apps. If gotten worse anxiety because I don’t know what my friends are thinking about me, or what is going on. I wish my parents never found this app!
Why do you have to continually log back into OurPact?
I’m not sure. i would contact ourpact.