XooLoo Digital Coach for teens

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
XooLoo Digital Coach for teens App Poster Image
Usage tracker has good intentions but can feel intrusive.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Kids can start to see exactly how much time they spend on their devices and how much time they spend in each app. Kids can also get a nice on-screen reminder of how they've used their time and whether they've used it wisely. With some parental boundaries in place, kids can also start to get a sense of which sites are most worth their while.

Ease of play

Using this app is mostly a passive experience: You interact with your device and it reports what you've been up to. Still, its simple interface does a nice job of giving limited feedback and helping teens see what they've been up to and what boundaries their parents have set. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that XooLoo Digital Coach for teens is an app for Android devices that lets parents monitor their teens' device usage. Parents can use their own accounts on the web or through a parent app on their own device to set guidelines for their teens, and teens can then use their own Android devices and get updates on which apps they've used and for how long. The developer's privacy policy states that using the app means granting administrator access to your child's device so the app can run in the background and monitor its usage, which some parents might find objectionable.

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What's it about?

XOOLOO DIGITAL COACH FOR TEENS is a tool that lets parents set boundaries for teens' device use and lets teens track their own device use. Parents and teens can tune the app's notification settings, but its default settings show the user's overall device use time on the home screen whenever the device wakes from sleep. Within the app, you can see the total time spent using each app, and teens can also see apps and sites that parents have restricted. The app offers encouraging feedback messages encouraging kids to stay on track and to use their time wisely. Parents can view, monitor, and restrict their teens' use either through using the device with their kids or through their own adult login through a companion app or through the developer's website.

Is it any good?

With lots of on-screen notifications about how you've used your time, this app does a nice job of helping teens get a clear sense of how they've used their devices, but there are privacy concerns. Although this is ultimately a tool for monitoring how teens use their tablets or phones, XooLoo Digital Coach for teens feels more like an invitation to a conversation than a sneaky way to spy on kids. Showing teens exactly how much time they've spent using each app is a developmentally appropriate way for teens to start learning to think about the way they use technology and self-monitor a little more effectively.

However, using this app requires some privacy settings that can feel alarming: To make the app track usage, you have to make it an administrator on your device, which may be more than some parents are willing to do, whether it helps their kids become more mindful tech users or not. Still, with some good context set by parents, this app could be a helpful way for parents and their kids to have an ongoing conversation about productive ways to use their devices.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using devices in balance with other activities. How much time is OK in your family? When is it OK to use devices, and when are devices off-limits? Can an app like XooLoo Digital Coach help set limits?

  • Several apps help parents track kids' screen time. Though conversations are best, there are lots of services parents can try if they wish.

App details

  • Device: Android
  • Skills: Self-Direction: goal-setting, self-reflection, set objectives, time management
    Tech Skills: social media, using and applying technology
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: February 22, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 1.20 MB
  • Version: 2.5.14
  • Minimum software requirements: Android 4.0.3 and up

For kids who love social networking and time management

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