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Struwwwelpeter Level 1 (0 points)



we have a 13 year old and controlling his user habits on the ipod touch is really hard. The Problem comes from all the stuff an ipod can do. It´s not only a web browser, it´s a gaming device and an walkmen plus plus plus.


So we have an agreement saying he can play 2 hours of games per day. But after playing on his iPod or on his Wii I still see him on his iPod. Of course he´s going like:"I´m only listening to music", which in most cases was true, but it is incredibly easy for him to cheat on this agreement. The problem is that it is a real pain in the neck to be after him all the time to see what he is doing with his iPod and of course he is feeling controlled.


No here is what I want to do:


- I want to prevent my boy from using the ipod at night. Pretty much in a way I saw in the  parental control menu on my MBP.

- Next, I want to limit his game time. Sure there are a lot of third party solutions out there. But they don´t work for me. I want him to play say between 20min. to X hours a day. I want to set up a timer with my password that my boy can´t change. So once I hand the iPod back to him I can be sure he plays no more than 2 hours a day. After the 2 hours of game time: nada. he can´t play anymore. And the timer resets itself on the next day.


At the same time I want him to be able to listen to his music on the iPod even after the timer locked down the games. Because IMHO he can listen to music as much as he wants.


And of course I want him to be able to surf Wikipedia and the like after the timer locked down. Something like an "educational mode" maybe, that is restricted to very few sites?


And yes, I´m aware that it is all about communication and trust. But teenage boys NEED control in certain areas of their life. Badly.

iPod touch, iOS 5.1
  • lllaass Level 10 (172,230 points)

    This may help:

    To pervent use at night just take the iPod away.

    The real problem is that Apple does not allow one app to control other app.

    For home use you can setup Open DNS

    That allows filtering the internet when your network is used.

  • b j t Level 4 (3,670 points)

    To add to lllaass info, you cold also look at:


    iOS: Understanding Restrictions

    iOS: Understanding passcodes

  • Struwwwelpeter Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the Reply, but that does not really help me. I have to set up the game time limiter every time he wants to play, which means I have to take the ipod away from him. But I want him to keep the ipod since he is listening to his music on it.

  • Struwwwelpeter Level 1 (0 points)

    @b j t:


    Thanks, I already found the restrictions and am aware of beeing able to lock the device. My problem is that I want my boy to keep the iPod and learn to use it responsibly without me having to look over his shoulder all the time and control the dear Jesus out of him.


    I want him to keep his iPod, listen to music and be able to play games on it for 2 hours a day. Is it so hard to programm an app that can do this? I mean, hey, they put men on the moon....

  • b j t Level 4 (3,670 points)

    Have you looked at the App that lllaass posted about ?

  • Struwwwelpeter Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi BT,


    thanks for the reply. Yes I looked at the Game Time Limiter by XVision. As I understand it it works in way where I keep the dveice, unlock it for a given amount of time, give the iPod to my child and after the timer runs out it shuts the device down and he returns it to me.


    That´s not really helpful since I want my boy to keep the device with him. Reason: he is listening to music on the device, using wikipedia etc. and I want him to be able to do so. I just want to limit his gametime to  X hours a day.


    What I need is an app that limits the gametime for a set numbers of hours a day and resets itself every day automatically. Maybe like a control panel where I can register all the games he is playing and as soon as the game is active the timer starts to run. After 2 hours of accumulated gametime (as in: game is active on screen) the program prevents the execution of the previously defined games. (And a 5 minutes warning plus 30sec. countdown before a lockdown would be nice, too). (Of course I would have to restrict him from installig apps on his own - but that is already a feature within the iPod)


    Additionally I want a "Parental Control" panel MacBook-style where I can define that the machine can not be used during nighttime.


    I searched the net near and far, but apparently there is no such app for the iPod. I wonder why? Are there any technical limitations that prevent an app to stop other apps? Than a finer tuning of the parental control settings would be a matter for apple itself, wouldn´t it?

  • b j t Level 4 (3,670 points)

    I typed in "Parental Control" into the search field in the iTunes Store.

    It came up with 6 Apps that you could take a look at.


    I have not been able to find any other Apps.


    IMHO you could try the Apps to see which one will give you the results you require.


    Sorry I can't be of more help.

  • Struwwwelpeter Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi BT,


    thanks for taking the time and checking this out. Well that´s basically what I did, too: I checked the AppStore and checked out the native restrictions of the iPod. Plus I googled different MacForums on the net to check on user experience for these apps.


    My conclusion from this was: the apps in the appstore are basically all a waste of money apart from the Game Time Limiter by XVision.


    But: they all don´t do what I want them to do. It all turns out to a solution where I keep the iPod an hand him the device until the timer turns it off.


    We (because out of personal experience I know I´m not alone on this - there are a lot of parents out there who would pay a bunch of dollars for this) need an app that:

    1. limits the gametime for a set numbers of hours a day (& since it´s 2012: could we sync this through the iCloud for different platforms for a specific user account say p.ex. on the iPod, MacBook and iPad?)
    2. gives a 5 minute warning + a 30sec. Countdown before disabling the device
    3. resets itself on the following days
    4. when locked down the device switches to an "educational mode" where my kid is still allowed to listen to music and use "educational sites" like wikipedia or watch documentaries.
    5. restricts the use of the device during certain hours of the day (specifically nighttime) MacBook-parental-control-style
    6. Gives me a  list of apps and websites a user is browsing MacBook-parental-control-style.


    If this can not be build into the iPod itself, I wouldn´t mind doing it through a parental control window in iTunes. A.k.a.: Connect the device to my MacBook, set the parental control and give the device back to my kid. You couldn´t even see the parental control menu from the iPod. Now that would be neat - and increase the safety of the parental control settings.


    So if any developer reads this: please feel inspired! I wouldn´t mind paying like 20US$ for an app like that. And I personally know a whole bunch of parents who feel the same way about this.

  • John Davidson1 Level 1 (20 points)

    PLEASE complain about this issue to Apple.


    Apple refuses to let outside developers (like me and many others) create apps that would address the MANY deficiences of "parental control" on the iOS platform.


    Apps that have the functionality described in this thread by multiple posters are NOT allowed by Apple. No one knows why. There is such a dearth of true parental controls in Apple devices and no one in the development community can understand why. iPod Touches and iPhones are in widespread use by minors and yet Apple refuses to address the millions of parents who desire controlling what our kids do. Apple won't even let us develop apps that monitor what happens on their devices.


    Complain about this issue to Apple. Tell them to either get some common sense about parental control or just let outside developers create effective solutions to this widespread problem.

  • HollyJAMs Level 1 (0 points)

    John, MY concern is that if Apple is intentionally disallowing these kinds of apps or controls, then it is because they know very well the psychology of their use (you can bet your life they do) and know that we are becoming addicted to their products, which is what drives their profits. This starts to look very sinister indeed when you start to look carefully at the current research:



    Really, they are the biggest drug dealers in the World, and they are completely untouchable. This is more dangerous than marijuana use, but because parents are just as addicted, there will be no moral outcry until enough parents see their children comitted.


    When it becomes a national health crisis here in the U.S., which it is already, by some accounts, or at least on the brink of being so, nobody will even suspect that Apple knew long ago that there was that potential. In the final hour, they will sweep in like knights on white horses to finally allow some solutions but only well after they have as many addicted users and have wrung as much profict as could possibly be had.


    For what it's worth, AVG Family Safety (like Open DNS but can be configured for individual devices/users and has timers/blackouts) is one good way to have some control over devices' internet use, but unfortunately, it does nothing to limit time or blackout periods on apps, which is the main feature I would like.  I'd like to be able to let her use prodcuctivity/time management apps, do as much digital art as she wants, use social media for a limited amount of time... but don't want it to morph into texting for 5 hours or being on youtube (which can be accessed through Facebook) or some time-wasting game for 3 hours!


    I've already written Apple and told them I'd be willing to pay more for these controls and I think many parents would. Please, if you agree with me, write apple and tell them you want specific time and blackout control for individual apps or at least over all non-educational/productivity/enrichment apps, as a group. Any app such as Spray Can that integrates socializing with random users should also be in this group of restrictable apps. Individual website restrictions would be helpful as well.

  • cliftonfromrichmond Level 3 (785 points)

    Well for starters, since the boy is already in his teens, and since you obviously can't trust him to honor your wishes, you are well past the point of making any significant impact on his behavior.  Installing a nanny app isn't the answer and neither is abdication of your parental responsibility.


    <Edited By Host>

  • HollyJAMs Level 1 (0 points)

    Your self-righteous blathering is not helpful, Clifton. My daughter was doing just fine honoring my wishes and obeying my rules until we thought we would help her get organized and do homework with a Touch and her Uncle got her an iPad for her artwork and school. It morphed into something else, even under our supervision and control because we are not GOD and do not have complete knowledge or control at all times. There are an abundance of rich and worthy, unlimted uses for these devices which we should be able to allow our children the non-micromanaged use of. There is no reason Apple should disallow that kind of limited usage management--PERIOD.  That is the original poster's need and request and if you don't have an answer to it, you are off-topic and your reply violates the user agreement for this forum.

  • iPad ER Level 1 (10 points)

    For most people your router has built in parental controls that area accessed over wifi or via a disc. It does limit time restrict gaming usage or can even block services. Check your router manual to see if you can set up such access, and if not restrict the actual device using restrictions and turn off game center and monitor your kids apps he installs rather than let him install them himself.

  • John Davidson1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Apple provides limited but useful parental control on OSX but virtually none on iOS. There's no sense in that.


    Millions of non-teenagers use iPod Touches and iPads every day. A software solution would be SIMPLE to implement and it's already available to anyone who wants to jailbreak their device.


    Yes, some of us can use our routers to try to put some restrictions on, but that's a very limited solution that requires much more technical skill than most users possess.


    But this is all beside the point. Addressing this issue with software is a trivial matter, and the only thing getting in the way is Apple. For whatever reason, they don't and won't allow it, and they won't develop it on their own.

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