Watch this video to learn how to monitor an Android device. If you'd like some additional tips — or if the video doesn't play — follow the step-by-step instructions written below.
STEP 1: Grab hold of your child's Android device.
STEP 2: Open the web browser app, which is most commonly the Chrome app, and type in the following:
STEP 3: Tap on Download on that page, as indicated below in red.
NOTE: If prompted, tap allow on this prompt in order to save the Bark app to your child's Android device, as seen below:
STEP 4: Wait for the download of the app to complete, and then tap Open, as seen below:
NOTE: if you don't see an option to open the bark-for-kids.apk file after the download completes, you can find it in the web browser's Downloads page or a My Files app. An example of Samsung's My Files app is seen below:
STEP 5: Tap Settings to Enable Install Unknown Apps or Sources.
After opening or attempting to install the file, a security prompt will likely appear, warning you about installing apps from "unknown sources." Bark is not an unknown source, so don't worry. (What are apps from unknown sources?)
- Tap Settings on the prompt below:
- Toggle on Downloads from Unknown Sources (or something similar that contains "Unknown Sources"), as indicated below:
A Quick Note About Family Link:
- Are you using Family Link presently? If so, see here for additional instructions on enabling "Apps from Unknown Sources" from your parent Family Link app.
- Don't have Family Link and want to learn more? Click here for information on this free tool.
NOTE: The following is an example of the Unknown Sources option under Android Settings. If you're having trouble finding the setting on your child's device, we recommend just searching for "unknown" in your child's Android Settings app and look for "Install unknown apps," as seen below:
- After enabling Apps from Unknown Sources on your child's device (and if applicable, on your Family Link parent app), select the back navigation button to continue with the installation of the Bark for Kids app.
- Open the bark-for-Kids.apk file again, and now you should be able to tap Install.
You have now installed the Bark for Kids app! For future updates, you will have to follow this process for getting the Bark for Kids app updated.
STEP 6: Open the Bark for Kids app.
Look for the Bark for Kids app on the device's home screen or App Drawer with this icon:
STEP 7: Enter your parent credentials and tap Get Started.
STEP 8: Follow the on-screen instructions to allow permissions.
You will see several screens that will ask for permission to monitor your child's device.
- Select the child's name that uses this Android device or select Add Another Child to add a new child to your Bark account.
- Select Connect on the first prompt.
- Tap Allow on the following few prompts.
- Check Do not show again on the following prompts and tap Start now.
STEP 9: Select Open Settings when prompted.
STEP 10: Tap Bark under the Services or Installed Services section in Accessibility.
STEP 11: Within the Bark menu that appears, toggle the switch for Bark to On.
STEP 12: Press OK on the following prompt.
STEP 13: Fine-tuning
To test the monitoring or to adjust settings, including whether Bark is using Wi-Fi or cellular data, open the Bark for Kids app and tap the settings icon (see images below):
Descriptions of settings:
- Upload over Wi-Fi only: If your child's Android device needs to conserve cellular data use, then you may consider turning on the setting of "Upload over Wi-Fi only." Otherwise, leave disabled.
- Test monitoring: If you want to make sure the Android device monitoring is set up properly, tap on "Test monitoring." A message will then pop up letting you know if it looks good!
- Check for updates: Tap on this option to see if there's an update to the Bark for Kids app. Updates will ensure your child's device monitoring is not interrupted.
NOTE: Do NOT logout of the Bark for Kids app, or monitoring will be impacted.
Last step: Breathe!
You're done! You may begin receiving alerts for potential issues like cyberbullying, sexual content, suicidal ideation, and more on your child's texts, deleted texts, web browsing, and saved photos/videos on their Android device.
From your Bark parent dashboard, you will now see the Android connection under your child's name. Here is an example:
The app will also automatically monitor many social media apps without needing to connect them to Bark with your child's login credentials, like Snapchat, VSCO, and Discord.
You may also utilize the Check-In feature now that you've installed the Bark for Kids app on your child's Android.
How do I get notified of future updates to the Bark for Kids app?
If there is an update available for Bark, you'll see an Update Available notification on your Bark parent dashboard.
Do I need to go through all of these steps every time there is an update?
You will simply have to download new app updates by navigating to bark.us/android on your child's device.
You can also follow instructions and a walkthrough video for updating the app below:
Need additional assistance?
If you're having any issues with setting up your child's Android device, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.