Feb 08 AT 4:12 PM Adam Oram 0 Comments

Review: Pumpic Mobile Monitoring

Pumpic feature

Kids are exposed to more than ever before with the advent of modern technology, particularly mobile devices. Monitoring exactly what our young ones have access to and making sure they stay safe online may seem like a daunting task but there are tools out there for keeping a handle on your child’s digital life.

Pumpic is one such tool. It aims to bring parental controls to your child’s Android phone or tablet and give you remote access to the important data on the monitored device. Pumpic cites usage monitoring, limit setting, adult content restrictions, and anti-bullying as possible benefits of its app and accompanying control panel. While there’s certainly a balance to be struck between the privacy of our little ones and being able to keep tabs on their activity, if you are wanting a little more control over your dependants’ digital devices, Pumpic could be a useful app to check out. (It’s important to note that the use of Pumpic is for monitoring your own children or employees only. Much more information on the terms of use can be found at Pumpic’s website.)

Let’s explore the apps features. Pumpic allows you to track over 20 different aspects of remote activity remotely. This includes call logs, SMS, location data, browser history, contacts, photos, and installed applications. If the target device is rooted, you can also get access to data from social networking and chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Viber, Kik, Snapchat and more. Rooting comes with its own risks, but does allow you to get extra value from Pumpic if you wish to do it.

Pumpic setup screensWhile there are a number of monitoring capabilities to gain, getting set up with Pumpic is not the most straightforward process. Firstly, you have to sign up for a Pumpic account via the web before you can start using the service. Once you have, you requires physical access to the target device as you need to download the monitoring app’s APK file and follow the in-app wizard to complete the installation process. For seasoned Android users, this may not be such a big deal but for the average parent, it may not be so easy. Pumpic does, however, offer a step-by-step tutorial as well as email support and live chat for users who are struggling. Once installed, the monitoring app is visible on the target device but cannot be uninstalled without a passcode.

Once you are set up, however, the data from the target device is almost immediately accessible. You may have to wait for all of the device’s photos to show up, but information like call logs, SMS chats and browser data was present the first time I logged into my control panel with more media- heavy data gradually filling out. The data available through the browser-based control panel is thorough hand easy to navigate through — check out Pumpic’s demo data for an accurate depiction of how this data appears.

Pumpic control panelHere you can easily view all the data gathered and take action — block specific websites or app usage, remotely lock or reboot the target device, block particular numbers for calls or SMS, and so on.

The Pumpic Mobile Monitoring control panel app — available on Google Play — is also easy to use but only shows a limited amount of data and doesn’t give you the same depth of information or control over the target device. Good for keeping an eye on the device while on the go, but you’ll mainly want to use the web-based control panel.

I can see the use of Pumpic being valuable to parents who want to set limits for their children. Being privacy conscious, being privy to all of the data on the target device makes me feel a little uncomfortable with every chat, call, website visit and photo being easily viewable. I can see why some parents may want to see this data and the positives that can stem from being able to monitor this stuff, but Pumpic is most useful in my opinion in its ability to set limits.

Pumpic Mobile Management screensBeing able to set a daily usage limit on a per app basis is exceptional. Want your kids to spend only 60 minutes per day on Facebook? You can limit the app to just that amount of time and cause the app to immediately close once that limit is reached. Son or daughter spending too much time on Minecraft? You can set a time limit and even allow the app to soft close (keep running after the limit expires, but become blocked once the app is closed meaning your kid’s game doesn’t get lost with the app suddenly closing).

With all this information on the target device and its user available, privacy and data security is of the upmost importance. The Pumpic site and control panel is secured by SSL and the data is stored in Pumpic’s own servers and none of the information from the target device is shared with third parties — this is important when dealing with such private information.

Pumpic charges a monthly fee for its monitoring software and there are two different plans with varying features. The basic plan costs $5.33/month based on a 12 month subscription. One, three, and six month plans are also available. The premium plan costs $7/month based on a year and gives you access to more data types including those from third-party apps. A plan grants you access to monitor one device, but if you purchase a six or twelve month plan you get 2 extra devices thrown in. Check out Pumpic’s demo site that is already populated with example data for a preview of the type of monitoring possible.

Check out Pumpic’s website for more information and to sign up for an account. Download the free Pumpic Mobile Monitoring app from Google Play.

Adam is Reviews Editor for PhoneDog, Android and Me and Today's iPhone. A Media and Communications graduate from Newcastle University in the UK, Adam is a Bradford City FC fanatic and self-confessed tech-nerd. You can follow him on Twitter: @adamoram.

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