Samsung's newest app rewards kids for showing smartphone self-control

Samsung has introduced a new app for users in the U.S. called Marshmallow (via Android Police), and it has nothing to do with the aging version of Android. Instead, it's an app aimed at helping parents monitor and limit their kids' smartphone usage, with kids gaining self-empowerment over how long they spend staring at a screen.

The app is installed onto a compatible Samsung phone (pretty much any Galaxy from the last couple of years, including the cheaper A and J lines) as an administrative controller, so it cannot be disabled or deleted without a parent's password. Once installed, it allows parents to limit the apps that can be opened on the phone, as well as set limits for how long the device can be used.

Using Samsung Marshmallow, a child learns how to use a smartphone naturally by making his or her own smartphone usage plan, achieving goals, and getting rewarded. Also, parents can use the Marshmallow app to talk about smartphone usage habits with their children.

Perhaps more interesting is the ability to parents to allow children to set their own targets for limiting screen time; the app rewards them with Marshmallow points when the phone is used less than the allotted amount, and points are removed when the phone is used too much. The points, once accrued, can be put towards gift cards sold in the Marshmallow store.

The app is free, and available in the U.S. right now. It seems like an interesting concept that, if properly incorporated into a daily routine, could be useful to parents looking to monitor and limit their kids' screen time. As a parent, would you use Marshmallow?

Daniel Bader

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central.