| Cult of Mac

How to stop your kids from wasting their lives on Apple Arcade


screen time apple arcade
Say Sayonara to arguments with your kids.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

New subscription gaming service Apple Arcade is here1, and it looks like an incredible deal. For just $5 per month, everyone in your family gets unlimited access to dozens of exclusive games (with a free month-long trial to check it out). Even better for parents, there are no in-app purchases in Apple Arcade, so your kids won’t be begging you to buy more coins or whatever every five minutes.

However, they can still spend way too much time on games when they should be out playing with kilometer-zero, organic wooden toys, or pretending that old washing machine delivery box is a panic room. Thankfully, Apple’s own Screen Time feature already works with Apple Arcade, so you can restrict access to any and all games.

This tool ensures your kids use their iPhones safely


Take control of your kids' devices with FamiSafe.
Take control of your kids' devices with FamiSafe.
Photo: Tim Gouw/Unsplash CC

This post is presented by Wondershare.

It’s 2019, so kids are practically born with a smartphone in their hands. The ability to communicate and access information anywhere is mostly a great thing. But for parents, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the content their kids are consuming, or the amount of time they’re spending staring at a screen.

However, with the right app, you can make sure your youngsters stay away from risky videos and websites. In fact, you can even use children’s mobile devices to enhance their safety.

Apple says parental control apps were removed for privacy and security reasons


Woman in China temporarily goes blind in one eye after smartphone overuse
Apple introduced its own Screen Time tools with iOS 12.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has responded to a New York Times report, claiming that it has removed various parental control apps from the App Store. Apple allegedly removed apps which offered similar features to its own Screen Time tool.

In response, Apple confirms that it did remove “several” such apps — but says that this was done due to privacy and security risks.

How to block any website on iPhone and iPad


Block websites on iPhone and iPad
Stay OUT!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There are probably good reasons to block a website on your own iPhone or iPad, but really, why not just avoid typing its URL? It’s far more likely that you’ll want to block a website on somebody else’s device, probably a child’s. Or perhaps you don’t want your kids to accidentally hit all your bookmarks to porn and gambling sites when they use your iPhone.

Whatever your reasons, here’s how to block any website on your iPhone or iPad.

T-Mobile FamilyMode brings parental control over every device in the house


T-Mobile FamilyMode Home Base
The T-Mobile FamilyMode app and Home Base promise control over every Internet-connected device in your house.
Photo: T-Mobile

Parental controls are a hot item. Apple is building them into iOS 12, kid-friendly apps have them, and T-Mobile just unveiled its solution: Family Mode.

This includes iOS and Android apps than can limit what children do online. And the Family Mode Home Base connects to the home Wi-Fi router and lets parents put restrictions on every device in the house.

How to restrict what your kids can watch on YouTube


youtube restrictions
Some things are definitely adults-only.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Kids on YouTube are like rats at a food dispenser. Tap, tap, tap, next video please. But unlike the rats, which get “rewarded” with an electric shock or worse, kids just end up surfing the Up Next links until they end up seeing a rat getting shocked, or worse. A more pompous writer would point out here that it’s a parent’s job to monitor their child’s YouTube activity, but actual parents know this isn’t particularly realistic. So how do you stop your kids watching the wrong thing? Let’s see:

How to use age restrictions to protect your kids from adult apps and movies


age restrictions
Children were restricted differently in the past.
Photo: Alisha Vargas/Flickr CC

The iPad and iPhone can be great learning tools for kids, just the same as they are for adults (only with more clowns and talking animals). But even if you don’t want to fully lock-down your iPad to restrict what your kids can do, you might want to stop then from downloading adult-oriented apps. That includes violent games, scary books, and dirty movies.

Verizon Smart Family app gives parents new tools


Verizon Smart Family
The Verizon Smart Family app is designed to make you a better digital parent.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Verizon’s new service lets parents limit their children’s’ screen time, monitor who they’re texting (and how often), and track their location. 

The Smart Family program also includes content filters, and can even tell a parent how much battery life their child’s phone has left.

How to keep your kids safe on the App Store


Parental Controls
Parental Control.
Photo: Alisha Vargas/Flickr CC

Kids love iPhones and iPad, but kids are also experts at doing the exact opposite of what you want them to do. That’s why Apple has built parental controls into iOS, so you can limit the mischief your kids can get up to, and even get notifications if they try to spend your money. Let’s see how you can make the App Store safe for your kids, how to choose what apps they can use, and how to control their in-app purchases.

Circle with Disney is a near-flawless parental control system [Reviews]


Someone didn't quite think through that Circle is mostly square.
Photo: Circle

I recall at WWDC 2011 when Steve Jobs introduced iCloud he talked about how up until that point, managing and syncing content across devices was driving everybody nuts. You’d take one photo on one device and would have to plug it in and sync it to another device, which would then offer up some of its own photos and meanwhile none of them are even on the third device yet. It truly was an insane world. But in 2016, the new Circle with Disney aims to solve a surprisingly similar problem.

Managing content across devices has gotten much easier, yet managing the people who use those devices has not. Circle is a brand-new product from Disney that wants to unify your family’s entire online experience. It allows you to set time limits for individual family members, block websites based on your child’s age, and even pause Internet access entirely when it’s time to log off.