Apple Adds New Website That Teaches Parents How to Better Control Their Children Online

March 15, 2018, 8:04 PM UTC

Apple has a new website that provides tips and tutorials to parents about how they can better monitor their children’s activities on Apple devices like iPhones and iPads.

The new Families site, which debuted Thursday, comes amid worries by researchers, activists, and parents about children becoming addicted to their mobile devices. Apple shareholders Jana Partners and the California teacher pension group CalSTRS sent Apple a letter in January pressing the company to do more to address any negative consequences of children keeping their eyes glued to their electronics.

The shareholders explained that the sooner Apple addresses the harmful aspects of excessive smartphone use, the more likely it would be able to boost its reputation as a company that’s concerned about child welfare. Doing so, “could enhance Apple’s business and increase demand for its products,” the shareholders wrote.

Among the parenting tips that the Families site highlights are instructions that show how parents can restrict the types of websites their kids can visit through their iPhone or iPads and prevent children from buying or downloading certain apps from Apple’s online store.

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Another tip Apple gives to parents is how to track their children’s location on map via their smartphones, so parents “won’t have to text ‘Where r u?’ fifteen times a day.” Parents can use the “Find My Friends” feature that lets them see where there children are via the map app in addition to how far they are as well as receive notifications when their kids “leave or arrive somewhere.”

In an interview with Fortune in September, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that it’s not his role to stop people from overusing their smartphones, but that as a technology provider, the company should provide “helpful” options that address any negative effects.

“But I ought to, as the provider of that, think through some things I could do that might be helpful for you,” Cook said. “And we really try hard to do that.”

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