The rather strong presence of Internet Explorer as the stock browser in Windows Phone 7 has made sure that no other web browser app gains too much popularity in the Marketplace. It’s not that IE is the perfect browser for your Mango phone (it doesn’t even have private browsing), but most people are content with the convenience and efficiency it brings to WP7. AVG Family Safety is a new app (by AVG, the antivirus guys) that aims to go one step ahead of IE by offering the option to control content that can be browsed on your Windows Phone. If you are using the AVG PC suite, you can block any website on your phone (the WP7 app requires the same credentials as the PC variant), and in addition to that, the app also alerts users if there is malware on any website you visit. AVG Family Safety might be lacking some of IE’s flashiness, but it certainly does provide you with a more secure way of browsing the web. The app can be extremely useful for people whose children use their phone for surfing the net. Read on if you think AVG Family Safety can be of use to you.
Some people might argue that AVG Family Safety isn’t too useful, as anyone can simply quit the app and start using Internet Explorer, but that’s still better than having no protection at all. Also, the app can at least be used to check any website for spyware or any other harmful content. Although you can use the AVG Family Safe app without an AVG account, you won’t be able to manually control or block websites that way. The editing and censorship options can be configured only via the AVG Family Safety PC application (available here). In order to use that application, you will have to purchase a license for the product (costs $13 a year). Once you have got everything configured from your PC, launch the WP7 AVG Family Safety app. The biggest disappointment in the app is the lack of landscape mode support, while the available navigation options are pretty scant as well. The address bar has a refresh button next to it, and that it is the only button visible on the main screen. In case you want to view some more options, you can do so by going to the bottom menu of the main browser screen. From the three-dot menu, users get the options to manage their bookmarks, view recent activity and help info for the app.
In our experience, AVG Family Safety is a bit slow at loading sites as compared to Internet Explorer. However, it makes up for this drawback by coming up with warning messages every time you are about to be exposed to malware or adult content. This feature is available for non-subscribers as well, and the app has an impressive list of websites that are marked as inappropriate or malicious. The advantage of having an AVG license is that it endows you with the ability to make additions or omissions from the default censor list. License-holders can even choose to bypass certain warnings. It is also possible to block time-wasters and social networks, so that your kids can’t access them from your mobile.
AVG Family Safety is a must-have app if you are using the desktop version of the service, but even if you don’t have that, do give it a try, as it won’t cost you anything, and just might save you from some potentially dangerous phishing scams and unwanted mature content. The app can be downloaded by heading to the web Marketplace link given below.