Parents of latchkey children have found great relief in iOS 12, as the latest software version from Apple is equipped with stronger parental control features. Apple had first introduced parental controls for iPhone in 2008, and since then, the Apple team keeps adding new features to the parental controls.
According to Common Sense Media reports, children between the age group of 8 and 12 years spend approximately 4 hours and 36 minutes every day on screens. This caused parents to worry more about their kids’ health and education.
The Default iOS Parental Control Features Are Thoughtfully Designed
On June 4, 2018, Apple released new tools inserted into iOS 12 to help users decide how much time they spend on iOS devices and start managing it. With App Limits, a brand new Do Not Disturb, Activity Reports, and Notifications controls, iOS 12 came out with more tailored parental monitoring features. With iOS 12, parents can control their kids’ iOS device usage remotely. But let’s break down the whole process to see all the benefits of iOS 12 updates.
Every child is unique, and so is its “digital behavior.” Therefore, parents need first to track how much time kids spend on screen and what apps attract them the most. This is where a new section titled Screen Time (in the Settings app) comes in handy.
iOS 12 Screen Time is a Godsend for Parents
Besides parental monitoring of teens’ activities with apps and websites, Screen Time feature releases daily and weekly Activity Reports. The latter shows the aggregate time spent on each app, website, or category of apps.
Moreover, parents can find out how often their kids pick up iPhone or iPad. It is quite helpful, especially when kids are supposed to be doing their homework or sleeping in their bed.
App Limits is another powerful feature allowing parents to set a real amount of time to use the app. If the time is about to end, they will get a notification. A parent can access the child’s Activity Report from their iOS device and set App Limits.
Another ability of Screen Time is the blocking of the child’s iOS device for a particular span like bedtime. Once tapping on the app to use it, kids will see the badge indicating that it is not allowed. However, it’s always possible to leave some apps active.
Screen Time works through an account and requires the Family Sharing setup. As a reminder, Family Sharing is a way to share different things (purchased content, multimedia files, locations) among family members. Thus, a family can share App Store purchases, an Apple Music family subscription, iBooks, iTunes, and an iCloud storage plan. It is set up on every member’s devices automatically.
A Third-Party iOS App Offers a Feature-Rich Experience
While built-in parental controls do their job flawlessly, you can also download some free apps to monitor your kids’ behavior and use of iOS devices. On account of vigilant monitoring, third-party apps have gained momentum.
For example, the Kidgy parental control app is a free app with a paid option to upgrade. Available for both, iOS devices and Android device, it allows parents to track the child’s current GPS location and set no-go areas on the virtual map. Once they cross the boundary, parents get a notification.
Another “location-oriented” feature is the Panic Button. When a child feels like getting in trouble, they can use the Panic Button to inform parents. All that makes sense especially when parents need to take night shifts, long-distance trips, or deal with co-parenting.
This kind of parental monitoring software contains powerful web filters and apps’ management. They check the sites visited and applications installed by kids, and restrict the access to the contents.
Web filters were initially designed for parental monitoring of sites with 18+ content. Parents have the authority to control what kind of content will nurture their child’s mind.
Some apps go further by providing organizational stuff. Thus, Kidgy launched the Daily Schedule Planner to help parents foster discipline and accountability and manage the child’s workload. So, parents can assign tasks and follow remotely how kids complete them.
Future of Parental Monitoring Software Market Globally
By 2023, the global parental control software market will have gained $9.50 billion, according to the 2017 Market Future’s report.
The critical factors for such growth are technology use, uncontrolled Internet surfing, risks kids might face online, and cybercrimes. The worldwide use of parental control software shows that the Internet might be a harmful environment for children nowadays.
Thankfully, parents have quick access to the security features of iOS 12 and other third-party apps to control their kids’ Internet use.
Instead of using the default parenting control features, a third-party app is a better option as it can be used on multiple devices without having to pay a penny.
iOS 12 public release will take place in September this year. Why should you wait for September? Go ahead and download the app to keep close tabs on your child’s online activities.
Which app do you use to control your kids’ iPhone usage? Share your feedback with us in comment box.
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com, who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.