A couple of years ago, I got frustrated with my kids’ device (Android phones, tablets) usage. It was hard to track how many hours each have used the device, and I used a simple kitchen timer at times to track their usage. Why, you might ask? Because sometimes, they would be playing games for hours on end. My teenage daughter is capable of using the device non-stop for 8 hours, visiting ask.com, youtube and using Viber to communicate with “friends”.

The kids think that everybody is their “friend”, even if they don’t know them, but that’s a story for another time. So, one weekend, I decided I don’t want to be the one doing the accounting, so I wrote a piece of software I installed on their devices. To track the usage. How long they’ve been using it and which app they’ve been using it.

The interface was rudimentary but it worked. The years went by, and I would mention to my friends what I’ve done, and every now and then, friends expressed that they would like that too. So, I cleaned it up and made it pretty(/ier) and published it as a service. As a free for all service, no ads included. From one parent, to another.

The name is the same from the begining, and it is a word play – Big Father. You can reach the service at https://www.bigfather.net and the app is available on Google Play store.