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Apple Responds to Investor Criticism Over Smartphone Addiction by Young People

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After two prominent shareholder groups wrote a letter asking Apple to play a larger role in addressing smartphone addiction among youth, the iPhone maker has responded.

Iphone7 ios11 settings general restrictions enable

In a full statement posted by iMore, Apple says they have “always looked out for our kids”, noting they also “work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online. We lead the industry by offering intuitive parental controls built right into the operating system.”

Apple says iOS devices today allow parents “the ability to control and restrict content including apps, movies, websites, songs and books, as well as cellular data, password settings and other features. Effectively anything a child could download or access online can be easily blocked or restricted by a parent.”

The company noted it started bringing parental controls to the iPhone back in 2008 when the App Store was born, adding to similar features made available to the Mac a few years before the iPhone was launched.

Apple stresses “We also have a long history of curating our content platforms to make sure they are free of offensive material, such as pornography, and clearly labeled so parents can determine if an app, movie or song is age-appropriate.”

The company continued to say “Of course, we are constantly looking for ways to make our experiences better. We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.”

Apple concluded their statement by saying “We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them. We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids.”

While iOS parental controls can limit screen time and more, at the end of the day it comes down to parents educating and controlling the exposure their children have to devices.

Who’s responsible for ‘smartphone addiction’ when it comes to kids? Apple or parents?

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  • FragilityG4

    My kids are only allowed to play with their iPads after their bath before bedtime, only for ten-fifteen minutes if they have been good. My eldest, 6, thankfully enjoys read his books just as much if not more. They use to go on the YouTube app and watch things I did not like them watching so I deleted the app and put YouTube Kids on instead which is much better for them. We also got them educational games to play on their like Osmo. It’s mainly up to the parent to educate their kids. All the manufacturers have to do is provide the tools.

  • Tim Stewart

    “Smartphone addiction” is not a real thing. Medicalizing an undesirable behavior just makes it easier to abdicate responsibility for one’s behavior. (It’s not my/their fault, I’m/their addicted). Real addictions are very real, but smartphones just enable bad habits for some. Pretty well all of the parents that I know, do an excellent job at working with their kids to not only ensure they are aware of what is going on with their mobile devices, but also ensuring that their kids know why that’s important and that it’s not about punishing them, but rather helping them stay safe and keeping things age appropriate.

  • speedracer99

    Wait until your kids are teens and try to outsmart your restrictions. Wish my kids were 6 again!

  • FragilityG4

    Yeah I’m not looking forward to those days… I remember how I was ?

  • khkw

    App and maturity restrictions are nice but iOS needs time of day and total cumulative usage per day controls. MS Windows allows a parent to easily set this. My son was VERY happy to switch from Windows to iOS because I had no way of knowing or limiting when or how much he uses his iphone/ipad.

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