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Apple Adds New 'Families' Section to its Website With Tips for Parents

In the wake of urging from investors to do more about smartphone addiction among children, Apple has added a new "Families" section to its website that outlines parental control tools and information that parents should be aware of.

The mini site is broken into several sections that highlight a range of kid-friendly features that Apple has put into place like app recommendations, in-app purchase controls, restrictions on apps that can be downloaded, internet limiting tools, Find My Friends, and more.


Apple highlights the Kids section of the App Store, for example, which the company says parents can use to find carefully curated content that's appropriate for children. The site provides links to tutorials for enabling Ask to Buy so parents can approve app downloads, and it lets parents know how to turn on restrictions to limit in-app purchases and which websites are available to children.


Another section of the site points out tools like Find My Friends for keeping track of a child's location, and recommends setting up group chat for the whole family in Messages.


Apple also provides details on Family Sharing, which is designed to let members of the same family share apps, music, books, iCloud storage, and more, and there's a section on tips for the whole family, with feature recommendations like Do Not Disturb While Driving, Bedtime, Medical ID, Night Shift, and Emergency SOS.

Apple also recommends products like the Apple Watch with LTE connectivity to "reach kids in an emergency" and to help the whole family stay fit, and there's a dedicated section on privacy controls. Parents who have children that use iOS devices will likely want to give the new site a look.

Apple has promised to introduce more robust parental control tools, and rumors have suggested the company will introduce the features in iOS 12. Apple is said to be planning to debut a Digital Health tool that will let parents know how much time their children have spent using iOS devices.


Top Rated Comments

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6 weeks ago
Apple has got to do a lot more when it comes to parental controls. Amazon has got the right idea. While you can accomplish a lot of similar things with apples controls, Amazon makes it much easier and more intuitive to set up properly. Apple should have a “kids mode“ that locks down the device and gives it a simpler, more basic interface. The parent should be able to remote in at any time to observe what the child is doing on the device.

They’ve made incremental progress over the years, but I really hope they revamp the entire system in iOS 12.
Rating: 11 Votes
6 weeks ago
Know where your kids are 24/7 is creepy AF. I grew up in the late 70’s / early 80’s. Virtually the only times my parents ever knew where I was from grade 1 onwards was bedtime and meal times. Otherwise we were off playing and exploring with our friends who knows where.
Rating: 9 Votes
6 weeks ago
"Know where your kids are, 24/7."

Rating: 9 Votes
6 weeks ago

Know where your kids are 24/7 is creepy AF. I grew up in the late 70’s / early 80’s. Virtually the only times my parents ever knew where I was from grade 1 onwards was bedtime and meal times. Otherwise we were off playing and exploring with our friends who knows where.


Different times, different environment. You can make that argument when there are no internet predators using social media coaxing kids into meeting adults and promising them undivided attention that most of them are lacking. I grew up in that same era and I would not be doing my job as a parent if I didn't know where my kids are at all times. I understand that you have to somehow trust them, but they're kids and you can't possibly be there with them 24/7. Their judgment of people still contain some innocence no matter how much you preach caution. I'm not one to preach how to raise other people's kids but we live in different times now, you have to adapt your parenting style according to the current environment.
Rating: 8 Votes
6 weeks ago
Maybe parents should accept some responsibility for raising their kids and not give them powerful internet devices if they are not responsible enough to handle them.
Rating: 4 Votes
6 weeks ago
The first thing parents can do that they should not give smartphones/phones to kids.
Rating: 4 Votes
6 weeks ago

Know where your kids are 24/7 is creepy AF. I grew up in the late 70’s / early 80’s. Virtually the only times my parents ever knew where I was from grade 1 onwards was bedtime and meal times. Otherwise we were off playing and exploring with our friends who knows where.

Problem is that the world is a very different place to how it was back in the 70s/80s. Where I grew up we'd leave our doors unlocked and our friends would just let themselves in. Wouldn't dream of doing that these days.

My folks clearly had similar rules to yours, I told them where I was going and they were cool with it, as long as I appeared back home at the agreed time. Turns out the all the parents in my area had made similar agreements with their kids, but also with one other. The would inform on us whenever and wherever we were spotted, a sort of parental spy network. Our freedom was somewhat of an illusion! ;)

Back on topic...I'm all for tracking my kids, when they are finally allowed to have mobile devices. Currently they are 3 and 4 years old and they only time when they come in to contact with an iPad is when we travel long journeys in the car (from the Netherlands to France for instance) and they are allowed to watch movies on it. Still undecided when they'll be allowed to have their own personal mobile device, but I've got years yet to work that out.
Rating: 3 Votes
6 weeks ago

Maybe parents should accept some responsibility for raising their kids and not give them powerful internet devices if they are not responsible enough to handle them.


Parents who give their kids these devices aren’t doing the kids any favors. No kid needs to use an iPad or an iPhone. They need to learn to read and write and think critically, not always reach for some device to entertain, er, “educate” them when they’re bored. They need to be bored. They need to learn what to do with their boredom. They need to create and imagine. None of that happens on these devices. Instead kids learn to consume, consume, consume and push buttons in such a manner that would make Pavlov proud.

I was a kid back in the 80s and we got our first computer when I was 10 years old. I learned about the machine. I wrote programs. Kids don’t do that today. They have no idea how any of it works. They don’t even care. They just want to buy apps and play games, I mean “educational” software.

I feel sorry for kids whose parents give them these devices. I don’t have kids but I have plenty of friends with kids. Most of my friends refuse to give their kids iPads. The ones who do often struggle with behavior and addiction (although the parents refuse to see it that way) issues around the iPad. A good friend gave his kids an iPad and took it away after several weeks because of how massively it changed his kids’ behavior. More fighting. Obsessing over the device. Tantrums when they couldn’t use it. Etc. Now the iPad is gone and the kids are back to normal.
Rating: 3 Votes
6 weeks ago

Dont allow your kid to have a smartphone. Give them a linux computer. Thats all.


Its Not about smart phones, it’s about having a basic cell phone that puts family members in contact with other family members. You don’t need to have an iPhone with internet capabilities to do that.
Rating: 2 Votes
6 weeks ago

Apple has got to do a lot more when it comes to parental controls. Amazon has got the right idea. While you can accomplish a lot of similar things with apples controls, Amazon makes it much easier and more intuitive to set up properly. Apple should have a “kids mode“ that locks down the device and gives it a simpler, more basic interface. The parent should be able to remote in at any time to observe what the child is doing on the device.

They’ve made incremental progress over the years, but I really hope they revamp the entire system in iOS 12.


A kids mode is a great idea. I would love to be able to set a special profile that the device enters automatically when the kids Touch ID or Face ID, and which disables e-mail, selected notifications, selected apps, non-child-friendly websites, etc. Apple could also make it fun, such as allowing the kids' screen to display post-it notes from parents, fun backgrounds, etc.
Rating: 2 Votes

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