Kids love iPhones, and that has created some problems for Apple.
In January, two major Apple investors criticized the company for not doing more about childhood smartphone use. They called on the company to add more advanced parental controls.
At the time, Apple pointed out that it has offered parental controls since 2008. Now it is debuting a new landing page that rounds-up all of the ways parents can get more control over how and when their children use any Apple devices.
Apple is not rolling out any new features or controls at this time. However, in January, Apple said, “We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.”
The new “Families” page — located at apple.com/families — is an attempt to help parents understand and use all the features that are already floating around on Apple devices. Many parents may not know that they have the power to track their children’s location, monitor and limit their purchases, and filter what content they can see on their devices.
It also covers privacy, health-related settings like sleep mode, sharing among family members, and the use of Apple devices in education.
The company also updated its support page for parental controls.
Screen time and kids is an increasingly fraught topic. A recent survey from Common Sense Media found that 98 percent of homes with children have mobile devices, and young children are spending an average of 48 minutes a day on them. According to the study, 42% of those young kids already have their own device.
Some studies connect excessive screen time to obesity and depression, but not all research has concluded screen time is dangerous. Some experts say its the quality of screen time — not the quantity — that should be addressed.
Former and current Apple executives have also commented that excessive iPhone use could be a problem. Former Apple designer Tony Fadell has said he wants tech companies to be more proactive about parental controls.