Though it already offers content filtering, Verizon's about to get a whole lot more comprehensive with its tools for helping parents keep their kids' cells on lockdown. Positioned to compete head-to-head with AT&T's Smart Limits
, Verizon's Usage Controls with run $4.99 when it goes live on July 23 and will offer billable minute thresholds (which provide text alerts to you and your tyke, but not a hard stop on usage), messaging limits, time restrictions, blocked number lists, and trusted number lists. Launching simultaneously will be Chaperone
2.0, a refresh of Verizon's tracking service. BlackBerrys and push-to-talk devices won't be eligible for the new controls, but let's be honest: if your 8 year old's sporting a Curve
, there might be more important issues to deal with there.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.