We all know how daunting it can be when it comes to setting up parental controls. Just doing a search for such an app is overwhelming. There are hundreds of them and a sizable chunk of them do the same thing. We follow the reviews to tell us which of these apps are better. You must be careful as an app could get all its negative reviews because of a recent update, or that the developer is no longer updating the app or support issues. Always check the recent reviews and see if you can get a feel for what's going with the app. Not a perfect solution but it will help.
For now, I want to disregard third party apps and focus on the built-in security features or the official Apple name 'Restrictions'. Restrictions requires a password to set, and oh Don't lose it! Once the password is set you can quite a bit. Here are a few highlights:
- Set age limits on apps and tv/movies.
- Block sites; however, Not by category.
- Exclude mature content in songs and books.
- Block access to apps such as Safari, Face Time.
- Block the ability of In-App purchases and installing apps (the Apple Family Sharing settings has a nice feature that allows kids to add an app but an approval request is sent to the parent which can allow or decline the request).
- Limit the Volume
- Disallow multiplayer games and restrict the social aspect of Apple's Game Center feature.
- There some cool new features that will ship with iOS 12.
Apple Restriction Feature
There are many more features except for limits to screen time and reporting but those two and a few more are coming with iOS 12 release later this year. There are a couple of downsides, that I think most people would agree, to using the Restrictions feature.
- Cross device and child monitoring (PC, MAC, Android iPhone and iPad).
- The feature must be configured on each device each time there are changes.
Overall, if you are lost about what parental control app you should buy then at least set the Restrictions feature appropriately. I hope this helps for now. I've got a similar write up coming for Microsoft's Family settings (PC's, Xbox etc.). They have a really cool setup.