A parent’s wish list for iOS 7

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As a parent with a young child who uses my iPad, I am always monitoring what he is doing when he uses the device. He knows how to delete apps and has decided if he doesn’t like something he should delete it. I am also always watching to make sure he isn’t playing apps that are not intended for him. He knows there is a page of apps that are his and the rest are mine. However, I never know when he might open a news app and see something inappropriate, or open a game that is not for him.

Of course, there is always that risk of an in-app purchase. He doesn’t know my password, but there will be that one time that my password has not timed out and he hits a button that buys something and he doesn’t even know it.

Sure, I could by him his own iPad, but that is a lot of money – even for an iPad Mini. Instead, there are two features I would love to see Apple implement in iOS 7 that would help me as a parent.

Multiple users

People have been asking for the ability to have multiple users on an iPad for years. The ability to have different users with different apps enabled for each user, and only those apps, would be enough to make iOS 7 a hit. I would love to be able to set up an account for my son with only his apps and nothing else. For that matter, I would love to do the same for my wife. Multiple Users is a feature which is a long time coming and I hope it arrives sooner than later.

In-app purchase limitations

While there are parental controls that allow you to turn off In-App purchasing throughout the entire iPad, I would love to be able to specify which apps it should be allowed in. I don’t want to have to go into Parental Controls and turn on In-App purchasing if I want to make a purchase in an app and have to go back and remember to turn it off again.

This could be similar to the on/off switch for notification center or location services. You would have a list of purchase enabled apps and the ability to allow the feature or not by turning it on and off.

Like I said, my son doesn’t know the password to make purchases anyway. However, I would feel much better if I could just turn off that feature inside of his apps.

The ability to set default apps

If you use iOS on any device you know that Safari is the default web browser. Sure, there are others available like Chrome and Opera, but if you click a link in any other app it will open in Safari no matter how many browsers you have installed.

Recently, I noticed Net Nanny, a company the helps filter out inappropriate content on the Internet, has released an app that is basically a browser that is filtered for kids. (I have not used this app, but I am using it as an example. I do not know how well it works.) This concept is fantastic and I would think many parents would jump at using this type of browser for their kids. However, if the child clicks a link in another app, like a spam email, the links to inappropriate content that site will still open in Safari.

As with in-app purchases, Safari can be disabled. However, where would appropriate links open? They would be stuck in limbo, since there is no setting to allow the links to open in another app such as Net Nanny.

Conclusion

There are other features I would love to see added, like the ability to shutdown all running apps with one click, the ability to have the weather on my home screen, and more. However, if Apple just implemented the three features mentioned above I would be a happy parent, and I’m sure there would be many other happy parents out there too.