20 thoughts on “Good News: Our Beta App for Android™ now has App Locking and Reporting!

  1. Lisa,

    Thanks for the update. One important option to me is monitoring who my daughter is texting with and to make sure it is clean – it is just so easy to hide and delete text messages without any kind of monitoring software. To my knowledge covenant eyes does not have this capability. For my daughter, I am concerned about her online choices for sure, but I am also very concerned about her communication with boys and if they are requesting inappropriate pictures or crossing boundaries through texting then I want to be aware to coach her through the process and to have a presence. With so many boys growing up with so much access to porn, we know this puts a lot of pressure on the girls at an early age to do what the boys want to be liked and get attention (not trying to overgeneralize but I do know this is a major problem and have witnessed it). Does covenant eyes have any plans in the future to monitor texting? I think this is a very important part of the parenting equation. We liked using covenant eyes in the past and think it is a great tool, but decided to switch over to another source that included all of the features we were looking for. Any feedback would be appreciated on this.

    • Hello, no, we do not plan to dig into text messages. The reporting behind that is complicated and the question becomes, “what are we screening for?” So, I suggest using a service that specializes in monitoring text messages, like Bark, which I highly recommend.

      Regards,
      Chris

  2. Hi lm a dummy with tech but could find my way in sin. Hoping this beta can be sensitive to google image search b/c standard tracking does not pick it up. Ha ha since i know little and am doing recovery i dont want to test🐵

    • Hi, Bob – image search is a problem. If you can’t handle image search then you shouldn’t have a smartphone. Especially if you’re in recovery. That’s a choice you might have to make.

      Chris

  3. hi i am reading about the new app and I appreciate the efforts made to make covenant eyes reliable for android operating systems. I like everything that is described about the new beta version. however, i don’t understand what you mean by “no filtering” is offered. it confuses me because you sate that safe search is enforced on browsers. does that mean if i type in the web address of an explicit, or HM, site, it will not be blocked?
    can you explain what the app can (or can’t ) do in terms of filtering right now? thanks!

    • Hi, Bernard – good question. I hope I can clarify. We do force a safe search, which enforces Google’s definition of Safe Search” and also Bing’s version of “Safe Search.” What we don’t do is enforce our definition of what’s mature or highly mature. Covenant Eyes has 6 rating levels for websites, ranging from “Everyone” to “Highly Mature.” If we were filtering, the user could set their filter sensitivity to block everything, for example, that is rated “mature” or “highly mature” (or at whatever level you want). That’s the part we don’t have on Android at the moment. I hope that helps!

      Regards,
      Chris

  4. Lisa, Chris, or to whom it may concern:

    Could I please have some recommendations for how to go forward? The Beta Version with App blocker for Android just did not work when I installed it on May 7th. Is the May 18th version guaranteed to work to block apps with no gaps in reporting? If not, would I just be better off to invest in an I-phone and give up on the Android altogether? Not being critical here, just a struggler whose temptation has increased since there have been gaps. Thanks! I would really appreciate your help.

    • Hello, the May 7 version did NOT have app blocker, which is the reason for the 5/18 release. Here’s the thing – unless you engage Family Link on your Android + Covenant Eyes, you’re always going to be able to find a way to beat us or anyone else. An iPhone can give you a slightly more secure experience with CE + Restrictions set. I’d recommend giving this new Beta a try to see if the app blocking functionality we’ve added will help your situation.

      Regards,
      Chris

  5. This latest beta is problematic as a software engineer type. The fact that it’s VPN based, and forces you to disable/remove all other vpns means that

    1. My ad blocker on my phone, called Block This!, no longer works. This app is important for preventing advertisements of half naked women from showing up on my phone when I browse otherwise reputable sites. I’m not sure if this new CE version has any plans of blocking ads but this is a must.

    2. I am a software developer and I need to be able to vpn into my work network on an ad-hoc basis. This eliminates the capability to do that

    • Hi, Brian – both 1. and 2. are valid issues in your situation. We don’t currently have plans to block ads ourselves, but I’m surprised that Block This! no longer works with our app. Have you identified the technical reason why we are interfering?

      And, yes, since iOS won’t allow 2 VPN’s to run at the same time, that is a limitation. I wish there was a better way. iOS so difficult to work with, as I’m sure you’re well aware of.

      Chris

    • Unfortunately this isn’t better addressed with Android either. The fake VPN doesn’t allow other Vpns and is interfering with the connections made with some of my apps so they can’t connect.

    • Hi, Ben – you’re right that the phone only allows 1 VPN-like function to operate at a time. I’m curious about the apps that are being interfered with. Can you please share those with me? Or, please share them with our customer service line: 877-479-1119.

      Chris

  6. Hi guys,

    Overall, the beta version is working okay on my phone, but I’ve noticed that now when I’m at university, the WiFi kicks in and out very sporadically. It affects all apps, including my web browser (Chrome) and WhatsApp, and often requires my switching off my WiFi and onto data to message in a timely fashion.

    The WiFi at school is run by “eduroam,” and I’m wondering if that has something to do with it. It wasn’t buggy with the old version, however.

    • Hi, we’ve recently fixed a few bugs in the app and I wonder if what you’re describing has been remedied. If it’s a persistent issue, even after updating, please call customer service at 877-479-1119 to report the issue.

      Chris

  7. With the new CE update that utilizes a VPN, is there a way to hide the VPN signal on the android phone? Normally such CE notifications and symbols can be hidden, but it does not seem to be the case with this new update. Will that change anytime soon?

    • Hi, Myles – the Android OS is forcing this banner right now. We know about it, don’t like it, and would love to find a way to work around it, but for now the OS does that for your protection to let the user know that a VPN-like feature is operating in case this is a privacy issue. It’s definitely on our radar.

      Chris

  8. Hi. Im wondering if there are any plans to reintroduce filtering? Its the most important part of the app for me, because without filtering there is nothing on the report for my accountability partner since nothing gets flagged. Also, the sites on my block list I assume are no longer blocked. This includes sites like Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, etc with a lot of sexual media that I don’t want to be a problem. Is this something that you all see as a forseeable thing to return, or is it just going to be a safe search forcer from now on? I mainly love the software for the filtering and accountability reports, those are what separate it from everything else. Thanks for reading!

    • Hi, Clifton – to be honest, I don’t think we’ll be able to add back filtering in the short-term, based on what I’m hearing. But, if you want a work-around, pull down from the top and click on CE as if you were going to panic or something. There, you’ll see a place to insert a manual DNS IP address, so that you can force all web activity to go through an OpenDNS or other service. There are various “clean” DNS providers out there. Does that make sense? If you need help with that set-up, please contact customer service at 877-479-1119. We’re working on a more formal communication about that feature to partially compensate for the filtering loss.

      Chris

  9. Hey Covenant Eyes,

    I found an issue with blocking the Google Play store on my device. Instead of going to the one that is on my phone (which is obviously blocked) I can just easily go on to Google Play’s website and download apps from there that I can potentially view porn on without being reported. I’ve tried to have that website blocked (along with Bing) and flagged by having them on my block list but that filter isn’t working. How can we fix this issue?

    Josh

    • Hi, Josh – thanks for your comment. You actually caused me to do a bit of digging to find a solution that I didn’t know about, but our tech team helped. In the App Lock settings, which your Accountability Partner can access, you can toggle “lock all new apps,” so that if you were trying to circumvent and download an app that you shouldn’t from the web version of Google Play, it would be auto-locked. I hope that helps!

      Chris

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