Apple to add 'robust' parental tools to iPhones, iPads after investors warn of addiction risks


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 Apple to add 'robust' parental tools to iPhones, iPads after investors warn of addiction risks

    Apple said it plans more "more robust" parental controls, responding to a letter from two large investors urging the tech giant to do more to combat smartphone addiction among children.

    On Monday, New York-based Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers Retirement System wrote a letter to Apple expressing concerns the impact smartphones and social media can have on kids.

    "We believe there is a clear need for Apple to offer parents more choices and tools to help them ensure that young consumers are using your products in an optimal manner," reads a portion of the letter.

    In a statement Tuesday, Apple defended parental controls already available on its devices, but also noted it has planned to introduce tools to make them "even more robust."

    "Apple has always looked out for kids, and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online," reads their statement. "We lead the industry by offering intuitive parental controls built right into the operating system."

    The iPhone maker isn't saying when those controls will roll out or whether it has made any changes to the plan as a result of the letter.

    The investor letter made several proposals for Apple to consider, including establishing an expert committee, offering Apples vast information to researchers, and enhancing mobile device software so parents have more options to protect their childrens health.

    A person holding an iPhone X inside of an Apple store.What parents can already do

    In the meantime, if you have kids with access to iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads or the iPod Touch, there are some steps you can take to manage your child's experience.

    Seek out Restrictions. Head to Settings, then General in iOS to enable Restrictions on a device. When you first do this, you will be prompted to create a four-digit PIN. Once that's done, you can start setting limits on what your kids can do, including the ability to install or delete apps, complete purchases within apps, or restrict the types of music, movies or other content they can view.

    Consider shared app accounts. If your child is younger, you can choose to let them participate on apps through your account. That allows you to control the experience and see what they're doing on an app.

    Keep an eye on app downloads. Users can access their app download history through the App Store. Also, with automatic downloads enabled, any apps downloaded on a shared account will pop up on all devices, helpful when you want to track what new apps your kids download.

    Talk to your kids. This is an easy one. Ask your kids how they use their smartphone and tablet, or what apps they like.

    By: USA TODAY

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