T-Mobile is launching a new subscription plan today as an add-on for subscribers to its T-Mobile One and Simple Choice cell plans called FamilyMode. It’s designed to let parents monitor their kids’ screen time and internet use, both on mobile when using a cellular connection and at home through Wi-Fi, regardless of the type of home internet service you use. It provides real-time location updates, browser and app history reports, internet-free scheduling, and app and internet time limits. You can also award kids with more app and internet use and less stringent time limits as rewards through the service.
The service starts at $10 a month, and it works on iOS and Android. Essentially, the parent account or whoever owns access to the overall T-Mobile cellular plan can register with T-Mobile and have FamilyMode added to their account. From there, the mobile app will work with the same login and provide access to every device on the plan. It looks like parents will have to make sure the app is downloaded on every phone they’d like to monitor, at least for real-time location updates.
If you’d like to go one step further and monitor home internet use on Wi-Fi, T-Mobile is selling a gadget it calls Home Base that will sit between your router and any internet-connected device, regardless of whether it’s connected to T-Mobile’s network. So that’s pretty much any modern device, from smart TVs to game consoles to tablets. The Home Base typically costs $100, but T-Mobile is selling it as an add-on to FamilyMode for a limited time for $20. You have to call the company to order it apparently, though T-Mobile’s FAQ seems to suggest it’s relatively easy to set up. The whole FamilyMode service will be available later this week on June 29th.