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    Pinwheel vs. Parental Controls

    Like Apple Screentime, Google Family Link, etc.

    Pinwheel VS Gabb Wireless

    Disabling Adult Tech
    is the Hard Way

    It's all in that world "control." Yuck! Parental controls "fix" adult tech, requiring constant research and maintenance. (Who hasn't given their kid their PIN at least once?)


    How much time do you want to spend in a constant state of vigilance,just so your child can go to soccer practice, text an uncle, and practice on Yousician? What if there was nothing to workaround to?

    Core Issue: Incentives

    What do Kids Want?


    1. Games, YouTube, Entertainment. Even adults struggle to resist the "casino effect" of modern apps.


    2. To Have a Phone. Kids don't want to be the last ones with a cool thing. You can use this to advantage and give them a legit smartphone that doesn't do games / ads / entertainment / media, but does lots of cool things.

    What do Tech Companies Want?




    When it comes to ads, time really is money. For example, it's nearly a $750B a year industry for Google's YouTube kids to gain your child's attention.


    This video proves it!

    What if better choices, not balancing time, is the real lifelong habit kids need.

    TIME is the wrong currency!

    "Screen Time was always going to be a punitive matter."The Atlantic


    It's about whether what's on the phone is healthy or not. That's it. A phone stays with you nearly 24/7 and shouldn't be the quickest way to deaden your own senses, get distracted, avoid real life, be entertained, compare, or wish—it's supposed to help you!


    A phone should be neither a reward nor a punishment. It just helps you!


    That's why on Pinwheel we say apps should be 100% tool, and 0% toy. Then time doesn't matter.

    And then the workarounds...

    There's still a supercomputing adult smartphone behind those restrictions. If you were a kid wouldn't you try to get there? Like many parents, you almost have to admire the creativity to workaround to the "real thing" in their hands!


    The Washington Post Article


    The Business Insider Article

    The 400 comment Reddit Thread



    The Mashable Article


    Videos to workaround Google Family Link... thousands


    New York Times Article



    So give them something that has nothing to workaround unto. The phone is already everything that it is! Don't give them something broken or disabled.

    Parent Portal

    On A Pinwheel


    • Choose Apps from Curated List
    • Mode-Switching Timeline
    • Safelist Contacts and Approvals
    • Contact Groups and Mode-Timing
    • Set Routines/Tasks (e.g. chores)

    Compared to Parental Controls


    • No "better" phone to try and get to!
    • No more pouring through reviews of apps and keeping up with them
    • No more endless settings
    • No more PINs to remember

    Let us Curate (and hold boundaries)

    Pinwheel is a smartphone made for kids. It's backed by therapists and does some really amazing things:

    • Changes modes throughout the day
    • Safelist for texts/calls from approved contacts only
    • Curated apps that are only tools, never toys, backed by therapist research


    We designed a smartphone from the ground up for our kids, and backed it with therapist, parent, and child councils to really make sure it can hold the test of time!

    No Hidden Hyperdrive

    Between the deficiency on the one hand (no plan, no phone, lots of fighting) and the excess on the other (a superpowered adult smartphone / multimedia entertainment device / pseudo-drug) there sits a golden mean: technology designed for kids building healthy habits for life.There's nothing to work to.


    If you don't want to manage parental controls or research all the latest apps, choose a kid device like Pinwheel.

    Pinwheel Reviews

    "Recently acquired a Pinwheel phone for my daughter and I can't say enough good things about it. Loving the fact I'm able to teach my child about how phones are tools not toys."


    –Laralyn Smith

    "After using Pinwheel for a few weeks my daughter is so happy with the digital independence she is developing; and I love that I get to have peace of mind knowing she is doing so in a safe and enriching digital environment."


    –Robert Stroud