iPod touch Parental Control Options

ejsilver26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2014
4
0
I have a son who has Autism and I want him to have access to his iPod, but it can cause distractions while at school or at night. I am looking for a parental control software that can assist us in this.

Ideally, it would allow us to control the times which he can access the iPod (say, bedtime to morning), restrict access to applications during school time (allow calculator and music) but restrict others (games, etc), and monitor the basics of what he is doing.

I don't want to be too invasive, but we have little options. If we cannot put restrictions and controls in place, we have to remove access to it completely.

He is also very good with technology, and has already jail-broken his iPod (Cydia). I know he enjoys this and would like to give him as much freedom as I can(when appropriate), but it has caused issues both at home and at school.

I am looking for both advice and tools/options that can assist in this.

Thank you.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,205
726
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
You're really not going to be able to find something that works well. If he can get his way around jailbreaking, he's going to figure out how to remove a tweak that blocks apps. ;) Plus safe mode is only a few buttons away.

AppCap's Pro version hasn't been updated for iOS 7, but it's basically what you'd want. You could try the current 2.0.2 basic version, but it only handles one app. You could at least keep him out of Cydia, restricting it to only when he's on your home wifi.
 

ejsilver26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2014
4
0
Thank you for the reply. I have been looking as well, and I think I have come to the conclusion that I will need to physically restrict the iPod, if he continues to use it. It is unfortunate that it will come to this, and this is unfortunately due to Apple's issue with control. It would be nice if they could create a Parental Control feature that would do even 1/2 what Android can do. I may have to switch him from Apple to Android for his music. He will not like this and I would rather not have to do it.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,205
726
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Thank you for the reply. I have been looking as well, and I think I have come to the conclusion that I will need to physically restrict the iPod, if he continues to use it. It is unfortunate that it will come to this, and this is unfortunately due to Apple's issue with control. It would be nice if they could create a Parental Control feature that would do even 1/2 what Android can do. I may have to switch him from Apple to Android for his music. He will not like this and I would rather not have to do it.
Does he stream music, or is he using the built-in music player? (My brother used to use the wifi at his school using an iPod to stream, which is why I ask) Any reason why you wouldn't go with a iPod Nano?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Thank you for the reply. I have been looking as well, and I think I have come to the conclusion that I will need to physically restrict the iPod, if he continues to use it. It is unfortunate that it will come to this, and this is unfortunately due to Apple's issue with control. It would be nice if they could create a Parental Control feature that would do even 1/2 what Android can do. I may have to switch him from Apple to Android for his music. He will not like this and I would rather not have to do it.
Perhaps setting a strict parental guideline with him will help. Make sure that your son knows what is expected and what repercussions will be in place for violating them. Parental restrictions are not the answer in my personal opinion.
 

ejsilver26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2014
4
0
Does he stream music, or is he using the built-in music player? (My brother used to use the wifi at his school using an iPod to stream, which is why I ask) Any reason why you wouldn't go with a iPod Nano?
As far as I know, he is usually playing his music and playing games. He has successfully "hacked" his school's network, so he does whatever he wants. We have looked at an iPod nano, and we may end up going there at some point.

Perhaps setting a strict parental guideline with him will help. Make sure that your son knows what is expected and what repercussions will be in place for violating them. Parental restrictions are not the answer in my personal opinion.
He has oppositional tendencies and does thing whether or not there are consequences. He does something, gets warned about the punishment, does it again, punishment happens, tantrum, next day, does it again, punishment, tantrum, next day, does it again, punishment, warning if it happens again punishment is more, next day, does it again, heavier punishment... repeat until punishment is removal of item/privilege/etc. Have him earn it back.. repeat cycle again.

As I said, we are working with professionals and this is the first option we have. At the moment he must earn the iPod at home. He gets it for car rides and at school (to eliminate distractions). An iPod nano would solve some issues, but then we would have the tantrum of lack of games.

We don't want to take his world away, but we can't have his behavior as it is either. We need to nip it in the bud. We use Time Boss Pro on his laptop, and that works. There are apps for his Android Phone as well (none chosen yet). However, it seems to be Apple with is unable/unwilling/too incompetent to create a decent Parental Control App for their own product.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
As far as I know, he is usually playing his music and playing games. He has successfully "hacked" his school's network, so he does whatever he wants. We have looked at an iPod nano, and we may end up going there at some point.



He has oppositional tendencies and does thing whether or not there are consequences. He does something, gets warned about the punishment, does it again, punishment happens, tantrum, next day, does it again, punishment, tantrum, next day, does it again, punishment, warning if it happens again punishment is more, next day, does it again, heavier punishment... repeat until punishment is removal of item/privilege/etc. Have him earn it back.. repeat cycle again.

As I said, we are working with professionals and this is the first option we have. At the moment he must earn the iPod at home. He gets it for car rides and at school (to eliminate distractions). An iPod nano would solve some issues, but then we would have the tantrum of lack of games.

We don't want to take his world away, but we can't have his behavior as it is either. We need to nip it in the bud. We use Time Boss Pro on his laptop, and that works. There are apps for his Android Phone as well (none chosen yet). However, it seems to be Apple with is unable/unwilling/too incompetent to create a decent Parental Control App for their own product.
I mean no disrespect, but there is always a way to circumvent anything. Even if you restricted his Apple device, he could DFU restore it and load a backup without your restrictions.

If it is an Android it is a similar measure he could take. Your son is very smart and can easily circumvent whatever you try. I honestly do not know what to tell you, but there is always a failsafe way to circumvent these measures. Unfortunately, they defeat the desired result.
 

Primejimbo

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2008
3,294
131
Around
Now sure about this, but just an idea. How about use find my iPhone for this. You see him playing too much, just go on iCloud.com and remotely lock it. That's your way of saying take a break from it.

I know the Amazon Fire has restrictions too and I have a few friends who have it and love it.
 

7thson

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2012
660
298
Six Rivers, CA
Here's what I suggest you try. Give him a nano for school as well as a dedicated calculator. If the school is ok with him listening to music, then they can let him know when he needs to turn it off. The nano he has 24 hour access to. At home, with an iPod touch or laptop, I would recommend setting up a wireless router that you can program with set times to give him access. I know this can be done on an Airport Extreme and probably other brands as well. This doesn't address his offline game usage, but parenting isn't easy, so you'll need to monitor that. I had a tough row to hoe with my son in grade school and learned some good skills to help me parent him without resorting to arguing or yelling. Unfortunately, autism is a whole different set of circumstances to deal with than what I was experiencing. You have probably tried lots of different tactics and will probably try many more. Adapting and experimenting to see what works, then moving on when it doesn't anymore, that's my impression of how parents succeed with autistic children. Good luck.
 

ejsilver26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 10, 2014
4
0
Thank you all for the responses. It is not easy. I have 2 other kids and it is a lot easier to parent them with regards to electronics (as they have other interests). I will continue to find options and discuss them with the team that is working with us and him (and our other two kids). I'm willing to do what it takes to give him the tools he needs to succeed to the best of his abilities.

7thson: I have been successful at locking the router from his electronics and his computer is also controlled by Time Boss Pro, which allows remote configuring of his access times. Our router (Linksys) has parental controls on it, but he has lots of off-line games and such that he can play at all hours. He also has a Roku, various DS systems, etc. The team suggests working slowly at building restrictions, but it may get to a point where it all goes away. I hope it doesn't come to that.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Thank you all for the responses. It is not easy. I have 2 other kids and it is a lot easier to parent them with regards to electronics (as they have other interests). I will continue to find options and discuss them with the team that is working with us and him (and our other two kids). I'm willing to do what it takes to give him the tools he needs to succeed to the best of his abilities.

7thson: I have been successful at locking the router from his electronics and his computer is also controlled by Time Boss Pro, which allows remote configuring of his access times. Our router (Linksys) has parental controls on it, but he has lots of off-line games and such that he can play at all hours. He also has a Roku, various DS systems, etc. The team suggests working slowly at building restrictions, but it may get to a point where it all goes away. I hope it doesn't come to that.
The iCloud lock isn't a bad idea though. Especially since it is built into the "Find My iPhone" app. But like any measure it can be disabled...
 

960design

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
2,841
841
Destin, FL
1). Create a generic iTunes account with a password only you know.
2). Download Apple Configurator to your Mac and configure a supervisory profile on his device. You will have to go through Apple Configurator to determine what you should limit on his device. Supervising the device will prevent him from overriding your settings. As long as you don't give out the AppleID password you setup all he will be able to do is wipe the device.
3). Apply for a free Meraki MDM account to remotely manage the device or you could possibly manage it under Mavericks Server ( I have not tried this since Snow Leapord, MDM's or Mobile Device Management software seems to better fit my needs. The purpose of this is to reset a passcode he will attempt to set and monitor all downloads. He will also remove the MDM and you will be alerted via email. We can lock the MDM using Apple's DEP, but I'm not sure if an individual can get access to this.
4). Under iPad settings remove the Mail Cloud so that he cannot reset the AppleID password that you created in step 1.

That's an overview and not a step-by-step. The process is a little more involved, mostly determining what you want to limit.
I've done literally thousands of these and have not had one 'hacked' yet.

You could also use the Check-In / Check-Out feature of the Apple Configurator. He would check out the device with the settings and apps you want for school and check it in when he returns home.

Please forgive the ramblings, the answer to your question requires a little more than a forum response. I'm just trying to set you in the right direction, with the proper acronyms.
 
Last edited:

theapplefanboyj

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2014
674
0
To be honest with you, it's not Apple's fault that they don't have parental controls. The iPhones are meant for people who are MATURE of handling it without restrictions. That said, I am 14, and I don't have restrictions on my iPhone or my iPod Touch because my parents trust me and they know I'll be safe with it. However, there are some teens who... Yeah. Since he has autism, this is why he might be acting like this, not to be offensive. He cannot control it, so don't blame him.