Buyer’s Guide: Best Devices for Accountability
Ready to get your hands on that shiny new device? The holiday season is a perfect time to take advantage of hot deals on phones, computers, and other tech. But before you buy, what are your plans to keep yourself and your family accountable on your new toy?
Being alone on a phone or computer can easily lead to poor choices, including pornography, excessive social media, cyberbullying, gambling, phone addiction, anxiety, and depression. Installing accountability software emphasizes personal responsibility by being transparent about the choices you and your family make on your devices.
Accountable2You sends detailed reports (and instant alerts) of your device activity to your chosen accountability partner, helping you make better decisions. This simple but powerful software has helped thousands of people escape the trap of isolation to find freedom, hope, and peace!
A Buyer’s Guide
Of course, all devices are not created equal when it comes to staying accountable. Some provide excellent “out of the box” accountability features in one area (such as tracking screen time) while completely neglecting other aspects (like internet and app monitoring). Some devices offer very few options for accountability at all.
All devices are not created equal when it comes to staying accountable.
It can be a lot to sort through! That’s why the Accountable2You research team created this buyer’s guide to help you make informed decisions about your tech purchases. The guide rates select devices in the categories of computers, phones and tablets, e-book readers, gaming systems, and smart TVs.
Accountability Score Sheet
When considering the purchase of a new device, only you know your needs and wants. The purpose of this guide is not to decide for you, but to make sure you are well informed.
The purpose of this guide is not to decide for you, but to make sure you are well informed.
The chart below presents the summary ratings for each device based on out of the box features then shows any improved features with Accountable2You installed. Accountability features include the following:
- Parental controls
- Screen time
- Internet monitoring
- App monitoring
- Location tracking
- Text/call monitoring
Each feature is given a rating from 0 to 5, with 0 indicating that the feature is not available on the device, and 5 showing that the feature is comprehensive. Each device is then given an overall accountability score from 0 (lowest) to 100 (highest).
Summary by Device Category
Here are our summary findings on different categories of devices. Please review the full buyer’s guide for more detailed information.
Both Mac and Windows boast a robust set of accountability features with Accountable2You installed. Chromebook falls far behind due to several limitations.
Without any accountability software, these operating systems (Mac, Windows, and Chromebook) all score about the same. All offer good parental controls and screen-time tracking, with rudimentary internet monitoring as well. None support app monitoring out of the box. Chromebook edges out the other two by having the most well-rounded set of base features, but Catalina on Mac provides the best parental controls.
Accountable2You fills in the gaps and adds numerous helpful features for individuals and families who want to stay accountable.
Accountable2You fills in the gaps on Mac and Windows and adds numerous helpful features for individuals and families who want to stay accountable. Mac OS Catalina gets the highest overall score, and Windows 10 also offers excellent accountability with Accountable2You installed.
Chromebook with Accountable2You provides comprehensive internet accountability with instant alerts, and some app monitoring as well. Unfortunately, Google’s parental controls cannot be enabled at the same time, resulting in a lower overall score.
Phones and Tablets
Out of the box, the iPhone manages to get a better score than Android due to a somewhat stronger set of built-in services. But with the addition of Accountable2You, the scales are turned in Android’s favor with an impressive set of features, including text and call tracking.
If staying accountable is an important factor in choosing your new phone or tablet, the verdict is clear: Android wins hands-down. However, iOS users will enjoy excellent built-in parental controls as well as comprehensive internet accountability with Accountable2You.
Staying accountable likely isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of e-book readers. But these devices do allow access to online content, so it’s good to have a plan for how to use them responsibly.
Although most devices in this category do not support Accountable2You software, the good news is that most offer parental controls to lock down web browsing and downloading apps. Standing above the crowd is Amazon’s Kindle Fire. This powerful hybrid of tablet and e-reader works well with Accountable2You, making it a good option for maintaining integrity while reading and browsing.
Consider doing your gaming on a Windows 10 computer with Accountable2You installed.
Modern gaming consoles can access online content and allow interaction with other players. Although Accountable2You software is not currently available for gaming consoles, some systems do offer better built-in parental controls than others. In this regard, Xbox One boasts significantly better features than PlayStation 4.
If staying accountable is a high priority, consider doing your gaming on a Windows 10 computer with Accountable2You installed, rather than using a dedicated game console.
If you own a smart TV or are considering buying one, be aware that very little accountability exists on these devices. You can lock and unlock specific channels using a PIN, but once a channel is unlocked, there is no way to monitor what content is accessed. Some channels offer additional parental controls, including Netflix, Amazon, VUDU, Sling TV, and HBO GO.
Are You Accountable?
In a digital age, it’s essential to consider how technology affects your ability to make good choices and maintain integrity—and that goes for your family as well.
Accountability always starts and ends with you, but your self-control can get a significant boost knowing your trusted partner receives reports of your online activity. That’s the power of Accountable2You.