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Apple To Introduce Parental Controls For iPhone Platform

In an attempt to counter the criticism that it has received over it highly erratic censorship policies, Apple is expected to introduce parental controls for applications in its forthcoming iPhone 3.0 software.

The move is likely to give parents the capability to limit downloads of applications as per the age of the child and the feature is also likely to be extended to the next version of iTunes.

Also according to report published 9to5 Mac, the applications could be rated as per four distinct age profiles namely 4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+ which will offer a more refined way of censorship as opposed to iPhone’s current basic parental controls that only allow for simple blocking of any specific service.

The move also likely to help developers tailor their offerings in a manner that suit the age based restrictions. Currently a number of App developers are bearing the brunt of Apple iPhone censorship policies which lack consistency and are often subject to pressure groups.

Recently Apple has been criticised for rejecting the ‘Newspaper(s)’ application which would have allowed iPhone users to read news stories featured by top newspapers; its first version was apparently rejected over supposedly obscene images that one of the UK tabloids The Sun carried in its Page 3 section and only approved when the application developer agreed to remove The Sun.

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Our Comments

A mobile phone, by definition, is a very personal device. Why Apple would possibly try to implement parental control is understandable but rather puzzling. Apple might well have blocked the "page 3" application but then anyone could go directly to the website through the built in Safari browser.

Related Links

Apple fine-tunes app censorship

(The Register)

The Sun's 'obscene' Page 3 girls get iPhone newspaper app banned by Apple


Apple iPhone 3.0 to feature parental controls


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.