Has your kid been asking you for a smartphone because “everyone has one”? Believe it or not, answering that question just got easier. Apple’s iPhones have many settings that allow parents some control over their child’s phone. iPhone's parental controls are accessed through Settings > Screen Time. Parental controls can easily be saved and not accessible by your child by putting a passcode on the controls. These include blocking in-app purchases, choosing which apps can be used, setting screen time limits, and more.
iPhone's parental controls are available on iPhones running iOS 12 and later. Best of all, this means you won’t have to dish out the big bucks for the newest iPhone. iOS 12 and later will also be available on previous iPhone models which you can buy for a lower cost from Twigby. Below, we’ll discuss some of the great parental controls that will help you rest easy with the idea of getting an iPhone for your kid.
In the iPhone's Settings, you will find Screen Time. Screen Time is where you will set all of the parental controls for your child's phones. You will simply choose the option that the phone is your child's, then manage the parental controls from there. Screen Time also shows you the daily and weekly activity reports of your child’s iPhone. The report shows how much time is spent on the phone and how much time was spent in individual apps. Parents can have their child’s Screen Time available and managed on their own iPhone by setting up family sharing through Apple.
In the Screen Time options is a parental control called Downtime. Downtime gives parents the ability to schedule blocks of time when the iPhone can’t be used. Good times would be at bedtime, school, or other times the phone isn't needed. During Downtime, incoming notifications from apps will not be displayed. The iPhone does still operate as a phone during downtime, so your child will have calling access if an emergency were ever to occur during Downtime.
With the App Limits feature, you can set a limit of how much time can be spent in an individual app for the day. A reminder notification occurs telling your kid how much time is left in the app for the day as well. If you set an app limit on your kid’s phone and they run out of the time allotted, more time can be requested to continue using the app. This feature works great as a reward system for kids who complete a school project early, do extra chores, etc.
Additionally, you can set certain apps to always be allowed, even during downtime or after a time limit has been spent. You might want some apps to always be available to your child such as the alarm clock or iBooks.
To further apply limitations, you can give your child access to only apps, websites, music, web content, movies, and more that you deem appropriate for them. For example, you can put a restriction on your kid’s phone to prevent movies with specific ratings from being played. These parental controls are done in your kid’s iPhone Settings under Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Content Restrictions. As the parent, you set the restrictions and make any changes with a passcode.
You can also prevent your child from being able to make in-app purchases, installing apps, deleting apps, and more. To prevent App Store purchases and downloads, go to Settings and tap Screen Time. Then choose Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes & App Store Purchases. Choose a setting and set it to Don't Allow. Plus, you can choose to Always Require a password for purchases from the iTunes, Book, or App Store.
Other Settings and Features
The privacy settings on your phone give you control over which apps have access to information stored on your phone. Privacy settings are also found in Settings > Screen Time. Then tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. Next, choose Privacy and select the settings you want to restrict. Things you can restrict include location services, photos, and share my location. You can see the full list of the privacy settings that can be restricted, here.
More settings and features that parents can restrict include passcode changes, account changes, cellular data changes, and more. These can be controlled in Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. Under Allow Changes, select the settings or features you want to allow changes to and choose Allow Don't Allow.
Tracking Your Child's Location
Tracking your child's location is accomplished through the Find My Friends app (for iOS 12 and earlier) or Find My app (for iOS 13). The Find My Friends app and Find My app are both automatically installed on iPhones. From your phone, you can request your child's location be shared. They will get the request and you will have your child approve the request. To ensure that your child will not be able to hide or turn their location off, you will go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. Then tap Location Services and choose Don't Allow Changes to lock the settings chosen.
iOS 12 Compatibility
To use iPhone's built-in parental controls, you will need iOS 12 or later. Any phone that can run iOS 11 can also run iOS 12. You do not have to worry about needing to buy the latest iPhone for your kid to utilize iOS 12 and its features. All of the iPhones available in the Twigby phone shop will be able to update to the latest software. This means you can still purchase the iPhone 5S, 6, or 7 from Twigby for a reasonable price or bring your own iPhone and have access to iPhone's parental controls!
More Parental Controls
Figuring out when and what kind of cell phone to get your kid is always a tough decision. Twigby’s flexible phone plans, low prices, and great iPhone options are just right for you and your kid. At Twigby, we understand that you will want to limit your kid’s phone usage and data while teaching them the responsibility that comes with a smartphone. This is why we offer flexible plans that you can customize based on how much you decide is needed. You get to choose how many minutes and how much data your kid will get. Plus, every Twigby plan includes free texting!
Twigby’s Self Care is where you can manage your account. Online or in the app, you can view your plan information, make changes, check your balance, pay your bill, and more. You also can monitor your calling, texting, and data usage. We offer free Overage Protection on phone plans too. With Overage Protection, you can monitor your kid’s phone usage to have control of your monthly bill. When Overage Protection is turned on, exceeding the data plan you chose is prevented, and there are no surprise charges on your monthly bill.
With the latest technology comes the latest in parenting, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Although not all kids are ready for a smartphone (which is why Twigby still offers basic phones), Apple is bridging the gap to make this transition easier on parents. The parental controls mentioned are great tools every parent can take advantage of. iPhone's built-in parental controls and Twigby are the perfect combination to stay in control and be budget friendly when deciding to get your kid a smartphone.