Thank you Circle for providing me with your product to review. I think this product will provide families with the safety and structure they may feel is lacking with our current technology. Find out more below.
Circle was designed to manage all of your home’s connected devices. With Circle, parents can filter content, limit screen time and set a bedtime for every device in the home.
Product Physical Features: The actual Circle device is a small cube, measuring 3.25 inches x 3.25 inches. It’s sleek and modern design help make it easy to have in your home, blending into your decorating decor.
- Time Limits-set limits for different family members
- Bedtime-plan it so specific devices can turn off at certain times
- Filter-filter out certain media content
- Pause-pause all devices right from the app on your phone!
- Insights-a review of who was on what platforms/websites and for how long!
- Devices-Picks up all devices in the home that are connected to Wi-Fi
The product is small and simple. The directions for set up, using the app, were super simple. The more devices you have in a home, the trickier it can be, simply because sometimes the device shows up without a description (Maria’s iPhone for example). However, Circle has a FAQs area on their website that troubleshooted a solution for me on this one.
I set up time limits for myself. I gave myself 15 minutes to be on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in one day (15 minutes each) and sadly, I always hit the time limit early in the day. A nice eye opener that social media is a racket for me! I also set a bedtime for myself, meaning when I woke up early at 5:30 am and went to check the weather on my phone while laying in bed, it told me my device hadn’t woken up yet! I liked this because I think it can help family members set better technology habits in the home. I personally don’t like sleeping with my phone and turning it on as the first thing I do, this happened because my husband was out of town and I had my phone with me in case of an emergency.
I liked the safety filters. When my 2 year old was on the iPad, he was not able to access YouTube (we have kids YouTube now, a MUCH better choice!) One afternoon, for fun, I paused all the devices and you would have thought the world had stopped! Again, a nice feature for families.
My only suggestion for improvements on the product, is being able to have two people share a device. This is huge in our household. All three of our children use the same iPad. If I set a time limit, then it doesn’t recognize who is using the device and the time runs out. I think this would be a super important addition to the product for young families. I want to be able to track my children’s screen time (we only allow 1 hour per day) and this didn’t make it as simple as I would have hoped.