Parents, get ready for the Disney version of Alexa for your children’s smart devices.
Disney introduces Circle and it’s designed to shut your kids’ devices off when they reach their maximum time limits.
Oh, and it’s available at Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon. I checked.
Shuts down the internet on kids’ devices
Circle is a small cube that pairs with your home’s Wi-Fi and allows you to control every device.
Yes, that includes iPhones, Androids, tablets and computers.
You can set a time limit on things like Netflix and social media.
You can filter out non-desirable websites.
You can pause the Internet.
The beautiful part is that you can schedule shut-off times for kid devices without knocking the Internet out for parent devices.
It works even when they are not home
It takes less than 5 minutes to set up and you can even check back later to see your children’s online activities.
Circle costs $99 at most retail stores and Disney’s website.
You can even connect it to their 4G LTE devices via the Disney Circle Go password-protected mobile app.
Circle Go requires a monthly subscription of $4.99 up to 10 devices. Your first month is free.
You know, so you can be sure they are actually paying attention in class instead of Snapchatting their best friends.
When can I get mine?
There’s an educational side too
As if you needed any more reasons to use Circle, it even has an educational side.
My Circle offers activities for every member of the house as a mobile app. And it’s free.
It includes educational games and videos with your child’s favorite Disney productions and characters including Inside Out, Star Wars, The Muppets and classics like Sleeping Beauty.
The best part is all three sync up instantly to your Netgear router.
What do kids say about Circle?
Well, kids are not too thrilled about it.
“App is dumb because it limits my ability to do school work on my phone and the ability to talk to friends, WHICH IS WHAT A PHONE IS FOR!” teenager Rad Camofdoom said in the Google Play Store.
A tech-savvy teen who goes by Silly_Socks said the Disney technologists who designed the app thought of everything to prevent teens from uninstalling it.
“So when my dad got this circle thing I did not like how it limited me so as always I try to break the system.”
He did so in several ways, including redownloading it to reset the password, adding a VPN to override the connection and unplugging by shutting down using the phone’s airplane mode.
None of it worked. In fact, it sent his father an email every time he tried to “break” the app.
Parents love it, of course
Parents have left reviews in the Google Play store about how Circle reduces their stress.
“This device cuts down on the tech arguments I have with my tween daughter. Now I don’t have to be the technology rule enforcer,” mother Sunni Pfeffer said.
One parent said the struggle is over and even connected her kids school-issued Chromebooks.
“We had struggled with controlling both content and screen time and the Circle has been a lifesaver. How we know what our kids are seeing and doing,” mother Meghan U said.
Have you left yet to go get your Circle? Sign me up, right now.