Apple plans to add new features to the iPhone that give parents additional control over how much their children use their devices, according to Bloomberg’s often reliable source of leaks, Mark Gurman.
In response to a public letter issued on January 6th by two investments groups, which hold combined $2 billion in Apple shares, the Cupertino, California, company says that it always aims to protect children, followed by vowing to do more to keep kids safe when it comes to iPhone use.
“Apple has always looked out for kids, and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online,” said an Apple spokesperson in an interview with Bloomberg. “We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.”
The letter, which was written by Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, asked Apple to add more safety features in its iOS operating system that allow parents to monitor the use of their child’s iPhone. The letter cites specific issues iPhone use causes among young people, including frequent distraction and a higher risk of depression and suicide.
Apple’s current iOS parental controls focus on limiting access to adult apps, music, video and other features. The letter refers to this approach as “all or nothing.”
“As one of the most innovative companies in the history of technology, Apple can play a defining role in signalling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do,” reads the letter.
It looks like Apple agrees and plans to add more parental controls to iOS in the near future, though it’s still unclear what specific form they’ll take.