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My kids both have iPod Touches and I'd like to apply some parental controls. I have had a look and I know there are some really limited features on the phone itself, and a variety of filtered browsers. However, none of them are really hitting what I want. The features I am looking for are:

  1. Filtered web (as above)
  2. Filtered access to Youtube and music
  3. Control over how often they are allowed to play games (like 1 hour per day)
  4. Whitelist control over who they can skype (or maybe facetime, but I am an android user so can't hook that net.)

Any suggestions?

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closed as off topic by Xavierjazz, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Simon Sheehan, Oliver Salzburg, Nifle Jun 2 '12 at 19:36

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iPod questions (other than about interfacing with a computer) are off-topic for SU as per the FAQ. Perhaps try apple.stackexchange.com –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 2 '12 at 16:50

1 Answer 1

First, the iOS restrictions are quite broad, and don't get nearly as specific as you need them to get. These are the restrictions that are built into the device and included with the Operating System. So, understandably they are essentially useless to you.

Since you are dealing with iPod Touch devices, they can only get online through a local wireless connection. So right there, you can limit SOME content (domain whitelist or blacklist depending on your router) but then when they are using another wireless connection they are once again accessing the internet wide open.

There are companies like Mobicip that have developed a quasi-proxy based solution to web content filtering, but you need to pay them for the service, disable access to Safari/YouTube/The App Store and install their "safe" browser.

As it stands, no existing solution will allow you to limit who they add to their list of Skype friends. You can (through skype) limit who you GET calls from, meaning you only get calls from friends, but you can't create a true Whitelist which completely blocks all potential non-listed contacts. Your kids could simply add another friend, whomever that friend might be.

There is no control for disabling game access after a set amount of time. There isn't even a control to disable game access. You can limit or kill MULTI-Player game access... which would kill a game if it was only multi-player, but no way to install software that will shut down a game after an hour of play.

You can filter music through iTunes by enabling the rating restrictions, but that won't affect music they get off the web.

Overall, you are kind of in a bind. The iPod Touch wasn't designed to be a babysitter. You still have to be the parent. You have to make sure they are using it responsibly, and take it away from them when you don't want them doing things with it. So... the only real Parental Control for what you list that you want to do is YOU.

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They are iPod Touches. Sorry for the confusion. I edited the original question to reflect your suggest. I can certainly filter the wifi, and there are apps to do that too. I am looking for the "Nanny" software you refer to with the features mentioned above. –  Fraser Orr Jun 2 '12 at 16:17
    
+1 for the parental control being the parent's job too. I'm sure the OP is proactive anyway (Clearly the case since this question exists) but it would probably do more harm than good to assume that a software solution would stop them accessing "the wrong stuff". Kids can be sneaky so it's always important to manually check what they're up to & check their history etc. –  jackweirdy Jun 2 '12 at 16:52
    
FWIW, an 80% solution is better than a 0% solution. Parents, no matter how diligent, do need tools to help them. –  Fraser Orr Jun 2 '12 at 17:08
    
However, one related thing -- I am a programmer, though not especially familiar with iOS. Is the fact that such an application does not exist an indication that iOS doesn't have the APIs to support such a thing? Perhaps because of application separation boundaries? (Perhaps this is the wrong place to ask that question.) –  Fraser Orr Jun 2 '12 at 17:10
    
@FraserOrr currently, it appears that all the current available solutions (mobicip, net nanny, etc) all have the same solution. Buy their service, disable Safari/YouTube/app store, and install their specific browser. So as it appears that a third party browser has to be installed, it would appear that the APIs aren't included in iOS for that level of control. –  Bon Gart Jun 2 '12 at 17:30

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