What it is
If you have a pulse, chances are you’ve seen an Apple iPhone, iPod or iPad, and quite possibly one person using all three. And if you’ve seen any of those items, you’ve seen the iOS operating system: it’s what makes these devices look cool and really is the liveblood and DNA of Apple’s mobile products.
What it does
Apple’s mission with iOS was to be minimal. To not get in the way. Basically they created a device that’s so intuitive you could put in anyone’s hands, and they’d be able to use it. From browsing the web, to messaging your friends, iOS was designed to be a part of your life instead of getting in the way.
With the Apple app store your device has access to millions of apps enabling your phone to do just about anything. With features like iCloud, your photos and videos are backed up automatically in the cloud. So if you fumble your device into the kitchen sink, don’t worry, your priceless moments are backed up.
Apple’s Security and Privacy settings are second to none and keep even the less-experienced safe and secure. From Passcodes to “Find my iPhone,” Apple has their users pretty well-covered. Hands-down, though, the most impressive aspect of security is their Parental Controls. You can restrict access to the internet, the camera, the app store, and in-app purchases.
How? Simply jump into your settings, tap “General,” then tap “Restrictions,” then tap “Enable Restrictions” and go down the list and decide what you want to be available.
The average kid has seen an iDevice and most of them want one. Why? Because their friends have at least one, and they have all these “really cool” apps that they just can’t live without. Suddenly the only way your child can communicate with their friends is now on an Apple Product or within these specific apps.
From Facebook to Tumblr, From Angry Birds to HayDay, you and your kids will be faced with some serious decisions about what to allow and what not to allow. While Angry Birds could be harmless, it could only take 30 seconds for your teen to destroy their reputation in SnapChat. With social media becoming the only active source of communication amongst teens, apps like SnapChat have grown in popularity giving teens a platform, free of parental supervision to do/say/show what they want, with thousands of new apps hitting the market every day.
App developers have rapidly targeted the largest-growing market in the world: kids like yours. Free games that all their friends are playing are sometimes riddled with ads and/or harvest their personal information for targeted advertising.
These Apple devices can be and are awesome. From developmental apps for Toddlers, to social media for teens, there is something for everyone, literally. Mom and Dad can sync their calanders and Johnny can take his homework to the next level. iOS provides the perfect platform to balance work and play. We honestly can’t touch on every single thing these devices can do, but we will cover those that stand out and are most important.
The fact that you can go about your day knowing that your childs device is locked down and incapable of accessing virtually anyting inappropriate, that’s priceless.
What’s Not So Good? (probably covered in the Pitfalls above)
Giving your child one of these devices could only become a bad thing if you don’t put in the work early and set up the parental controls right out of the gate. And nothing can prepare and protect your child more than explaining the dangers of having the internet in your pocket, regardless of your passwords and monitoring.
What’s the verdict?
We here at iParent give iOS a big supportive thumbs-up. From family fun to parental controls, it’s the perfect mix of play and control. Having access, in any form, to the internet is potentially dangerous, even with filters, but knowing Apple is giving us the tools you need to keep your family safe should give parents a head start. For the record, we do not reccomend giving your child an iOS device without first locking it down.