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Recently, a group of investors wrote an open letter to Apple, urging the company to do more in regards to offering better and more robust parental controls on the devices the company makes.  Although the group of investors control some $2 billion in Apple stock, this is a drop in the proverbial bucket, given the company’s $900 billion market cap.  Nonetheless, the letter seems to have gotten Apple’s attention.

In a statement published in the Wall Street Journal, the company said: “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.”

Previously, the company has touted the suite of parental controls it’s had in place on the devices it makes since 2008.  For example, every iPhone sold has a settings app with a parental controls section that allows adults to control in-app purchases, install and delete apps, and restrict website access.

Those are all good things, but the group of investors is pushing for more.  Although the company has not released any details about their planned enhancements, it does appear that the letter has prompted them to think even more deeply about the matter, and in that same letter, also requested that apple aid research that studies what impacts excessive smartphone use has on mental health.

To their credit, Apple has done more with  parental controls than many, if not most other tech companies, and it is very good to see that they’re listening and responding to the concerns of their investors.  This kind of responsiveness bodes well, and depending on the particulars of their plan, it could well cause other companies in the industry to attempt to match their moves. To view what controls are currently available for parents to use on your children’s iOS devices follow these instructions. Tom’s Guide compares what applications are available for parents with iOS devices and states, “No one parental-control service is perfect, but our testing found that Norton Family Premier ($49.99 on Norton) delivered the best mix of web filtering, location tracking and app management, particularly on Android devices. (The iPhone version of Norton Family Premier was limited by comparison, but still offered just enough web filtering to make it worthwhile.) Spizie lists ten applications parents can use to monitor and control iOS devices. Digital Trends lists eight applications. CellSpyApps.org has a list of The Best Parental Control App for iPhone.

macOS Sierra: Set up parental controls
Apple has instructions you can follow to set parental control over your children’s Mac.