has anyone found a smart phone that does really well with CE with minimal to no loopholes?

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Fellow Struggler

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Posted 5 months ago

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Nathan

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it seems to me that CE effectiveness is more about the operating system than the individual phone. There is also the factor of your technical ability to find/patch loopholes. I don't think any phone will have zero loopholes, but it appears that all can be dealt with by a determined individual. 
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Robert B, Official Rep

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Nathan,

I appreciate your perspective! A friend of mine once used the analogy of Swiss cheese. He said that every slice has some holes, but if you layer some pieces together, you can, at the least, reduce the number/size of the holes.

This certainly applies in the realm of technology, but it also applies to life in general. Keep up the good work!

Robert
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Mike

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That’s a great metaphor. Thanks for sharing. Are there any forums where people can share how they are addressing holes? I understand the need to delete something revealing a hole for those struggling. Is there a place a parent can look for answers with out being deleted for pointing out a hole? I want to do my best. Thanks!
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Robert B, Official Rep

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Thanks for understanding. I don't know of a forum like that (all of ours are public-facing), but let me suggest another resource geared especially to parents. Although they don't have a forum, that I know of, Protect Young Eyes is focused on educating parents and students, including close looks at apps and devices. Check out their site for additional food for thought. One thing CE and PYE have in common is recommending the layers approach.

If you have a specific hole in mind, feel free to reach out to support@covenanteyes.com. Our email team includes a few parents; they would be happy to help out however they can.
(Edited)
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Mike

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That’s a great website! Thanks for the resource.
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worshipfulheart

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thank you for deleting the comment. I was unaware of that hole and now that I know about it, my app is essentially useless. I'll likely need to move to the Light 2 phone to continue to protect myself and my family. In the future, contacting Covenant Eyes support directly seems to make the most for those who are concerned about holes rather than exposing them publicly to those of us who rely on the app for protection.
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Mike

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I am so sorry! I love you brother (or sister)!
Every time I come to this forum I think of it as a place to master and trouble shoot the CE platform like forums with almost all other programs. I keep forgetting this is also (if not more) a forum focusing on the behavior and breaking free. That’s a great thing too! I fully support and am grateful for that. 
I guess imo there needs to be two spheres of help.
One focused on parents (or the accountability holder) and another for those on the other end. I have called in many times over the years. Super sweet people! It’s clear however (understandably) most aren’t devs. To really tackle some of the holes I have needed advice from people on this forum who seem to be iOS or Android developers and know their way around the devices really well, way better than I do. On Android you may not need to dump your phone yet. Just have your accountability partner set your phone up with family link. We do that with an Android phone in our house. You can’t delete your browsing history and you can even require permission to install apps. It works well and covers the big hole mentioned in the deleted post. 
(Edited)
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Mike

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@worshipfulheart 
I was reflecting on your post and praying for you and your family. Again man, so sorry. Another thing to consider is something my high school son did for awhile. He bought the iPhone SE on Swappa and basically treated it like the Light Phone. He locked it down with parental controls and made a simple communication device with a few note apps. He didn’t even use covenant eyes while it was that locked down. Basically no internet. It is cheaper than the Light 2 Phone (now) and worked really well. 
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worshipfulheart

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no worries. it will be fine. thank you for your prayers and your encouragement. I still need to address the hole. it was tough for the first few days I knew about it, but now it's nice knowing that I'm making a choice based upon a desire for good rather than just being restricted by an external device or software. There are other reasons to move to a Light 2 or similar phone. I'm hoping to set a good example for my 4 and 6 year old boys and I'm tired of all the apps.

I agree about support not understanding some of the development issues. Ultimately, I believe CE is going to have to address the developmental issues or partner with someone to manufacture hardware themselves if they want it to be truly successful on mobile devices. It seems like there could be space for a specialized CE edition Android, but maybe not enough to warrant the cost of development.

Thanks again for the ideas.
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Mike

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No problem at all!
Honestly, when I read your post I thought... I wish I could take this guy out for a cup of coffee share what we have learned. I also have two boys. Both teenagers now. It was tough for a few years as we had to learn to communicate better and use tools to help bring purity into the home. It’s so much better now. My boys are awesome. I am so proud of them. I will pray for you again man. God bless you as you pursue Christ with your family. 
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Jimmy Clark

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iOS is far and away more compatible with CE than Android. I had high hopes for Android app a few years ago, purchased a Galaxy phone, but ultimately the Android app just isn’t ready for prime time. iOS restrictions combined with CE filtering and screenshot capture is really the safest path and it’s not even close.
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Jimmy,

Thanks for pitching in, these are cool conversations to watch! Based on what you said about AndroidTM, do you mind sharing a few things that would make it ready for prime time? If you'd rather not post those items here, feel free to send them to  support@covenanteyes.com. Have a great holiday!

Robert
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Jimmy Clark

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I’ll send an email
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worshipfulheart

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I have a different opinion than some others on iOS. I switched to Android specifically because CE is better with android in my opinion. Especially now with screen capture for the full device. Obviously their are loop holes in terms of the types of images that trigger screen capture, but its helpful to know that all screen activity is monitored and could appear in the report. iOS is too segregated of a development environment to give the app full access. Other than that, if you want a foolproof solution, then switch to the Light 2 phone. It's not a smartphone, but it has a lot of features and may be worth it.
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worshipfulheart,

Thanks for joining this thread! I appreciate it when someone makes a useful recommendation because it's obvious that the person cares about the issue(s) and has done some homework. Keep up the good work where you are! Thanks again,

Robert
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Fellow Struggler

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Hey guys,

As the person who originally asked the question, let me just give you all a hearty "thank you" for your replies and comments! They have been very helpful as I think through my next steps. I'm currently using an old school flip phone, but that too has a potential issues, namely that it can't be monitored by anything (like CE) but only capable of data being shut off through my carrier.

Special thanks to Jimmy Clark - in the past, it seemed like iOS was the way to go and I believed that I had finally got a multi layer lock down on it. But I was also at the point of exhaustion with continual falls with internet filth, that I went to a flip phone. It has helped tremendously with breaking away from such a deadly sin and habit. But as I continue to assess the future and what I "need" or don't need, I want my next step to be a calculated one, so thanks again for your input.

Second thanks to woshipfulheart. Oh wow! I've never heard of the Light 2 phone, but after spending some time researching it, I'm thoroughly impressed and excited at the potential of it! An OS without a browser, social media, email, or any ability whatsoever to get onto the Internet?! I find it amazing, that even folks who may not be part of a religion or moral system are finding themselves exhausted by the information overload and cultural sensationalism and are wanting another way! Thanks be to God for his common grace! I still want to look into this more, before I make the $350 jump into an unknown phone, but I'm definitely grateful that you shared this with us.

Lastly, to Robert (I'm guessing a CE employee) thank you for your thoughtful comments and replies. I realized when posting this, that this posed a potential pitfall for others, but I also know from experience and from being in a support group with other men that deal with this struggle, that it is a question that we are all thinking about all the time. At the end of the day, we know that we won't live in this world escaping every temptation. But I think we all long for some repose from the madness that has become of our smartphone oriented world. And we all want our hearts to be aflame for God and to be spent actually loving those around us as Jesus did and as He commands us to do. It is to our benefit as well to do this, as living like Him brings incredible joy and deep satisfaction that immoral images and junk could never and will never do. May God help CE and the rest of us as we seek to live with Him in holiness and devotion and ever increasing wisdom as we sojourn through this world.

Thanks again to everyone, and I hope and pray you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Sincerely,

Fellow Struggler 
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uwc

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To anyone else who comes across this thread in the future, I thought I would chime in with a few more thoughts. If you read this thread, some say iOS works better, and some say Android. That's because there's plusses and minuses with both, using CE. And THAT'S because CE is trying to create a product that NEITHER company envisioned being used on their platform. It's cutting across the grain of both companies' outlook and worldview for their product.

I say this to temper folks' expectations regarding any product in this field. Don't get me wrong: USE CE! FIGHT! Just realize that, as I say below, wars are not just fought with rifles, but with multiple weapons. 

And my own experience: I have used both operating systems, in-depth, with CE on both, for extended periods of time (iPhone and Samsung Galaxy) and I've found, for both, that two things are necessary:

1. I need to utilize a "layered" approach, either way. Because neither is perfect. The gentleman who runs "ProtectYoungEyes.com" has talked about this. By "layered", I mean I use other, sometimes competing products, alongside CE. I don't use CE alone. The "perfect" system seems to be, with both OS's, a layering of competing products, CE being, in my opinion, the top of the heap, in terms of commitment and quality. A "layered" approach is more expensive, but I treat that as a cost of my desire to use these tools called phones, tablets and laptops in a wise and fruitful way. 

(Side note: I wish all these companies could all form some kind of consortium, and really work together. I would cheer that and be an investor yesterday.)

2. Then it comes down to what am I willing to give up, in an intentional structure, in order to keep a safe distance from problematic material.

For iOS, for me, which might be different for you at your stage, this means:
- I use Accountable2You, because of text alerts, not email, which works better for me and my accountability partners**
- Screen Time password, with my wife
> no deleting or installing apps
> Apple's own filtering of URL's
> Outright blocking plenty of URL's that have been problematic in the past
> The only apps I use are several content-blockers, that are directly related to this struggle, and that cannot be deleted. One of which blocks Google images. 

(On Android, I believe I used both CE and A2Y.)

So you can see that I've chosen to give up installing apps, and some parts of the internet, and for the most part, my life has gone on as before, with little hiccup. I haven't died yet or been hit by a meteor or saw my life completely dissolved, because I couldn't install an app. I courageously press on. :-) But again, your mileage may vary. 

** I realize that here I'm mentioning a competitor's product. I don't like to, since I use CE on all my other devices, and have so since forever, and will continue to. There was a period in time when I wasn't using CE at all, and continued to subscribe, just to support the cause. I'm simply trying to use this forum well, for the help of others. I trust that's OK with CE. This is not a comment on the comparative excellence of either product - just an example for others' benefit. 

3. I took a long time of wrestling with the Android side, and the iOS side, to get it "just right", and this took a lot of time, and a lot of distraction from real life. It's dawning on me that, in the end, I have to take responsibility. CE is, at best, a very helpful assistant. But in the end, I need to run after God. CE helps me clear off the windshield to know where I'm driving. 

I don't know how direct communication on this forum works, but if it's possible, and anybody would like more detail about what I've learned, I'm happy to help. 

Blessings to all in your fight. Keep going. Keep fighting. It will be worth it!

(Edited)
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Mike

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UWC, thanks for your post. It’s helpful to see what other users are doing to improve/troubleshoot their purity journey. I have a theory on Android I would like to try. When the pixel 3a drops in price I think I am going to buy one and root it and make CE a system app. I was told Google doesn’t void the warranty or discourage rooting on their devices. If that’s true (it appears to be with a quick Google search) I think you could really lock down a device for a child. At least as secure as Windows is? In your Android experiments have you tried anything like that?
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uwc

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Mike, I thought about doing that, but it was just too far into the tech weeds for me. In my opinion, the best situation on Android that I found is with a Samsung device with Knox, and an app/service called Boomerang (useboomerang.com). They offered a solution that includes a way to lock down using Knox, that is tighter than with any other Android brand (that I found). I believe it can be used in conjunction with CE. In my opinion, the two make a great match on Android (and this is why I said I wish these companies could join forces somehow). 

Now that I've mentioned competitors to CE twice in this thread, I want to take the opportunity to express appreciation to CE for all the groundbreaking work you've done in this field, all while cutting against the grain of how the world wants us to use technology. I'm thankful, as are many others. 
(Edited)
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Mike

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That’s cool. I’ll look into it. I also agree! The people at CE are awesome. I am also grateful for their ministry.