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Apple's iOS Addiction already has a solution on the Mac

Parental Controls on macOS already enable bedtime restrictions

Apple is vexed with the problem of excessive customer satisfaction, particularly in the troublesome demographic of young users. That's the latest hot take reaction to the issue of kids being given permissive parental approval to stay up all night on their iOS devices, leaving them sleep deprived and distracted. Apple's parental controls on iOS are focused on limiting access to content and specific apps, but the company already has tools in place to enforce parents' wishes on the Mac. It just needs to bring these to iOS.

The problem of children being distracted from sleep and a focus on school and growth certainly isn't new. For decades, kids have stayed up too late playing with toys, watching TV, playing video games or simply running around outside.

What is new is the technology to securely enforce how devices work. Apple has long provided parental controls in macOS, a form of the business-oriented policy management designed to prevent employees from using devices, apps or content outside of their corporate-approved permissions. Apple brought some of these controls to iOS under Restrictions Settings.

These settings enable parents to block access to specific apps and features, from the Wild West of the WWW in Safari to access of AirDrop file sharing, the Camera and Siri. Parents can also password protect access to iTunes, iBooks, News, Podcasts, and block the installation of new apps. There are also privacy settings parents can use to limit what apps can access their location, contacts, calendars, photos, microphone and so on.

Back to the Mac

What's still missing is time, date and bedtime hours restrictions that are available under Parental Controls on Macs. The controls on Apple's desktop platform also include limiting web browsing to specific sites, emailing to specific contacts, and can limit a child's account to using the "Simple Finder," which effectively restricts what a young user can do in various ways.

Apple issued a statement is response to concerns that young people were at risk of distraction and even suicide from excessive use of unrestricted technology, noting that it planned to bring additional controls to iOS.

The company stated that "effectively anything a child could download or access online can be easily blocked or restricted by a parent" already, while outlining "new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these [parental control] tools even more robust."

The nutty insanity of maliciously cynical Apple narratives

The histrionic attention to Apple's "addiction" problem has been blown into a full gale bomb cyclone of low-heat white flurries by the typical sources. Even MacWorld included a cliche subheading spectating that future updates "might be too little, too late!" despite not knowing anything about what they might include, ignorance expressed as criticism in describing Apple's comments as a "vague statement."

None of the common reports on the contrived AddictionGate story seemed to understand that parental controls already exist on the Mac, and none acknowledged that Google's Android, Amazon FireOS, or any other phone, tablet or game console platform (or television) might suffer from a similar inability to enforce the aims of parents who don't actually physically engage in the control of access to their children's devices.

Also not mentioned in any of the reports of the dire state of children possessing iPhones was acknowledgement of Google's harassing, abusive comments and sickeningly bizarre and violent YouTube content directed specifically at children and monetized by the company until an uproar ensued; nor FaceBook's wildly permissive data gathering on children in its Facebook and Messenger apps and its feed of content that regularly splashes suicide-inducing abuse and depraved, explicit content from virtually any source; nor the potential for children to stay up late using Amazon's Alexa to order age-inappropriate materials without parental guidance.