FEATURE: 08.05.19- Screen usage is a year round issue for children but especially can be more prevalent during the Summer months when kids are out of school and have nothing better to do with their free time, spending hours on end in front of their smartphone or tablet, and if they’re in the Apple ecosystem, that means screens on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad (or even an iPod touch).
What can adults do to stave off this addictive and unhealthy habit that kids have fallen into? And, how can parents get more involved with their children’s screen usage?
Enter the GOYA-Move app from P-INK Ventures, Inc.
Launched in the Summer of 2018, the GOYA-Move app (the acronym standing for “get off your apps”) is a digital health and well-being app that takes parental control a, step, further by teaching kids about screen usage moderation and accountability.
The app achieves this through parental controls that allow parents to set step goals and assign chores — the latter a new feature being released today in an update to the app — which encourages children to get active and live a more healthy lifestyle. Once step goals and/or chores are completed, the rewards-based app lets children gain access to specific apps on their device that have been locked (e.g. games, music, social media, or the web browser).
For safety reasons, the GOYA-Move app does not block access to messaging or the phone so parents still can communicate with their children and vice versa (which is especially useful in emergency situations).
App highlights include the following features:
- Parent Dashboard- allows parents to manage multiple children.
- App Auto Lock/Unlock- choose which apps can be accessed by your child once step goals are met (and/or chores are completed).
- Blackout Times- set blackout times to override step goals (e.g. homework, dinner, and bedtime).
- Works With iOS and Android- a parent’s iOS device can control a child’s Android device and vice versa.
The GOYA-Move app sets itself apart from other similar parental control apps by rewarding kids with earned time in front of their screen without ever having to physically take the phone or device away from them (or making them feel punished).
In addition, the app is a NONE-MDM (short for mobile device management which is a form of connecting 2 devices together) based solution, making it much safer as it does not collect data or give the app’s system access to data on the device like other apps may do: an issue brought up by parents and organizations. To the best knowledge of its creators, the GOYA-Move app is the only parental control app that does not use MDM — — which they claim is recognized by Apple — giving the app a competitive advantage of keeping ahead of the curve with software that is privacy compliant with parents and children.
In November of last year, apple banned all parental control apps and others that used MDM, believing its usage to be a security breach of the Childs smartphone.
According to its website (under the About Us section), the GOYA-Move app was created by two parents as a solution to the problem of screen addiction which had become front and center in a household with six children. In addition to teaching children about screen usage moderation and accountability, the app was designed to get them physically moving again.
The website also indicates that pediatric research suggests 10,000 steps a day for children 10-15 years of age.
“Mobile Games and Social Media are the biggest distractions amongst kids these days,” said Isaac Gredinberg, president of P-INK Ventures, Inc. and co-founder of the GOYA-Move app.
“The Parent Automation tools in our app allow parents to teach their children about screen usage moderation and accountability without the invasive feeling the child might get. The GOYA-Move app encourages a healthier relationship between parents and children, and between children and their phone.”
“Our vision goal is for parents and their children to have a healthy relationship with one another and their technology,” added Gredinberg.
American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines suggest that parents and children use their screens together. The organization says that in a world where children are growing up digital, it’s important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship and parents play an important role in teaching these skills.
New and ongoing studies from the National Institutes of Health have shown that more than two hours of time spent in front of a screen can have a negative effect on children’s brains (e.g. lower performance on test scores). Furthermore, even technologists from the Silicon Valley are keeping their own kids away from using these devices and being in front of its screens, feeling that the risks of addiction and stunting development seem high.
Apple as a company, knowing these risks, has addressed the issue by creating software tools — like its Screen Time app (available beginning with iOS 12) — that let parents know and feel good about what their children are doing which helps them choose how, and how often, their kids can use their devices. And, the company is continually designing new features to help make sure children use their devices in the way parents want them to.
The GOYA-Move app is available as a free download on the App Store with in-app purchases (a monthly subscription of $1.99 per child is required after the free trial period expires). The app, which is rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, requires iOS 10.0 or later and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Visit the FAQs & Support page on its website for additional information about the app.