Introducing smart phone (BlackBerry) to children
My kids are growing in a fast pace (as all parents would agree) and the time is coming when they would start asking for smart phone. Given that I am their dad, there is no option but BlackBerryÖ In the early stages of them getting a BlackBerry, me and my wife would like to both control and monitor their usage. Mainly to help them guide and develop a proposer sense of smart phone usage, and also protect them against content / suspicious stuff. There are too many cases out there when things have gone wrong.
BlackBerry as an option is there since remotely managing it is a well established standard. With Mobile Fusion, I understand that these types of controls can be done (like managing a corporate BlackBerry). I want to open this thread to discuss what options BlackBerry provides to parents who want their children to experience a Smartphone (BlackBerry) in a safe and controlled manner? Is there something called BlackBerry Fusion Lite that can be used for a limited amount of users? If not, then this looks to me to be a very attractive market that RIM could enter into. I know that NetNanny has something for Android where you can control for example app installation, etc. I am not sure if it really fulfills the needs of parents.
What are your thoughts? Are there solutions in the RIM application portfolio that can address this (perceived) missing opportunity in a cost effective manner for families? Or is there something already there? If so, would it be simple for parents to install and manage?
If anyone from RIM is reading this, then I would appreciate your view on this as well.
Looking forward to the discussion.
- 11-20-2012, 09:04 PM #2
Parental Controls (OS 6 and 7)
Parental Controls is available for OS 6 and 7:
Now Available on BlackBerry App World: BlackBerry Parental Controls for BlackBerry 6 and BlackBerry 7 OS smartphones ęInside BlackBerry Help Blog
It is built-in to OS 18.104.22.168.746 and probably others, but if it's not, you can download it via App World if you are running OS 6 or 7.
It allows you to toggle availability of:
1. Phone dialer (plus option to limit incoming calls to contacts only)
2. Text messaging
3. Bluetooth file transfer
6. Application installing
7. Email account setup
It isn't perfect but it's a start. I don't know anything about the next generation of enterprise solutions (for example is there a replacement for BESx?).
Thanks Adam for your reply. Indeed, have seen the application you mention, but had something different in mind. Perhaps what I was thinking about was: how easy / possible is it for a private person to setup a BES like server in order to manage a small group of BlackBerries? Like a small business? Would the entry cost be too high?
- 11-22-2012, 11:28 AM #4
BlackBerry - BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express - BESX - Canada
You would also need Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes.
Microsoft Exchange Server and Exchange Online
Plus a probably dedicated PC on a decent internet connection (cable modem, DSL, etc), a domain name with MX records pointing to your mail server PC.
Not trivial. But at least BESx license is free, which is a real big deal considering how expensive BES is.
- 11-22-2012, 12:12 PM #6
I got to ask, lol how old are the kids? If you are that worried, do you really have to give them a phone? Realistically under age 16 a phone is really unnecessary.8700, Bold 9000, Bold 9700, Torch 9860, Z10! No case FTW!!!
- CrackBerry Addict
11-22-2012, 03:20 PM #7
- 521 Posts
we are in a connected age. under 16 is not too young i know 3 yr olds that can unlock and dial without issue. learning happens at a young age so why limit the technology they have access too. yes there should be limitation on what they can access but introducing it at an early age is a good thing
- CrackBerry Abuser
11-22-2012, 08:02 PM #9
- 431 Posts
BESx is wonderful solution for what you want - may consider not doing it on your own PC (home server) but getting hosting server.
Other options are:
- Can check Microsoft's 365. There are plans with web-based BES. It is monthly subscription, and there is free trial to see if it works for you.
Office Online Services - Hosted in the Cloud - Microsoft Office 365
- You can do a search for hosted BES services - if remember correctly the monthly subscription vary from 10-20 USD
BTW, how old the kids?
My kiddo just turned 15, and he is with phone for many years - only last year gave him BlackBerry. We do not have/implement any "sophisticated" solutions for monitoring/managing his activities, but going in most "traditional" way - having talks and discussions on how to use his phone/PC/Tablet, and all these related to kid being online.
- CrackBerry Genius
11-23-2012, 12:06 AM #10
- 4,995 Posts
In this hyper connected age, kids are using technology at earlier stages. For me, the worry is not that my kids use smart phone (they already have a tablet each - with the WiFi disabled), but that they are protected and guided so that usage of a smart phone becomes an experience that is positive (so many stories out there where things have gone wring due to no guidance / coaching from parents on how to use a smart phone). My eldest is almost 8. She has already noticed that several kids in her group of friends have smart phones. Also, the added benefit of a smart phone is that you can call them when they are not at home. What I also hope we can do is to be able to have the option to use GPS tracking via BlackBerry Protect, or via the BESx BlackBerry tracking - if available. Just as one extra comfort.
Indeed, the training is important. It is like teaching them to ride a bicycle. First they use support wheels in back garden. They probably have all type of protectors on (knee, elbow, etc). Then, as they become more comfortable, the protectors come off (except the helmet) and the support wheels come off. They try, they fall, they stand up again and try again. As they become more comfortable, you take them out for a ride and teach them the rules of bicycling in the city. As they become comfortable, you leave them and trust that you have given them good coaching, they know the rules and they know how to protect themself. I think that smartphones - which are actually small PC's - are not much different (my opinion).
Thanks for the hint. Indeed, a web based server might be a better option. Will check Microsoft 365. Have not heard of it before, so need to do some research. I don’t need a specific server running, beside the need to run one for (what now is becoming a more realistic option) BESx.
Thanks for the offer on a step-by-step guide. Will drop you a PM soon.
Jut an observation. Tried to download BESx. Got the following error on my gmail e-mail entry:
"The email address entered is not a corporate email address. Please enter your company email address."
So I need a corporate e-mail to download BESx in the first place... is that correct?
- By Entertainment72 in forum Apple iPhone/iPadReplies: 17Last Post: 12-13-2010, 01:20 AM
- By kimwin999 in forum BlackBerry Curve 85xxReplies: 4Last Post: 07-23-2010, 06:29 PM
- By Dabrador in forum BlackBerry Pearl 81xxReplies: 4Last Post: 04-17-2009, 08:37 PM
- By Arah in forum General BlackBerry DiscussionReplies: 4Last Post: 07-28-2008, 07:02 PM
- By bakie77 in forum General BlackBerry DiscussionReplies: 4Last Post: 07-14-2008, 07:11 PM