To access the restrictions we will be discussing in this article, please navigate to Settings > General > Restrictions and proceed to the Allowed Content area. If you have never turned on iOS restrictions before, we recommend you familiarize yourself with “Parental Restrictions In iOS 7 – Part 1 (Enable Restrictions & Allow Apps)” before proceeding.

Allowed Content

Now that you have decided what access the end user can have to the iOS device, it is important to consider the type of content they are able to view. With children in mind this next area is essential to ensuring that they only have access to content that you, the parent or guardian, deem to be appropriate for their age group. As indicated in Part 1, this information is equally valuable to all users and anyone deploying iOS devices in education or the workplace.

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Figure 4: Allowed Content Settings List

Ratings For:

By default, the ratings on your iOS device will be for the same region as your country of residency. The country of residency would have been set during the initial setup process of the device. If you tap on this area, you will be able to select ratings from every country that has an iTunes Store as shown in Figure 5.

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Figure 5: Change The Region For Ratings

It is advised that you leave this option set to the United States, unless you have an iTunes account that is registered in another country that you purchase audible and visual media from.

Music & Podcasts:

The default setting for this option is Explicit. When you tap on this area, you will be able turn the Explicit option off and that will stop any content that has been labeled as Explicit from being played, or streamed, on the device.

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Figure 6: Music & Podcast Explicit Setting

This setting applies to content that includes Music, Music Videos, or Podcasts that have been accessed from iTunes or Apple’s Music, Videos, or Podcasts app. It does not apply to third party apps and streaming services, nor does it apply to iTunes Radio.

When this Explicit setting is turned to the off position, content that is labeled as Explicit in Apple’s Music or Podcasts app will be hidden from view and the end user will be unable to play, or download the content. Similarly, iTunes Match Explicit titles will also disappear when this setting is turned off, despite the possibility of a Clean version of the song being available on iTunes.

One important note applies to Apple’s Podcasts app. If an explicit episode of a podcast has already been downloaded, it will not be hidden from view and can be played. Likewise, the podcast provider needs to indicate that an episode, or the entire show, is Explicit. If they fail to do this, then this setting will have no impact on preventing end users from being able to access Explicit content from the Podcasts app.

We recommend that you purchase and download the Clean versions of content on iTunes, rather than the Explicit versions, if the device is going to be used by a child, or someone who disagrees with the use if profanity in audio productions.

Movies:

When you tap on this area you will be presented with a series of rating options that are present in the country that is assigned to your iTunes account, or has been modified via the Ratings For area as discussed earlier.

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Figure 7: Allow Movies Based On Their Rating

You can either choose to not allow movies at all on the device, or you can restrict the films that are accessible by selecting the relevant ratings. For the US market the selection available includes G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. If you disable R and NC-17 for example, then the movies with those ratings will be hidden from view on the device.

This setting is also applicable to any films that are not downloaded to the device but can be streamed from iTunes in the Cloud.

It is important to note that this setting has no impact on Movies that have been downloaded to the device from a source other than the iTunes Store.

TV Shows:

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Figure 8: Allow TV Shows Based On Their Rating

This option is essentially identical to that of Movies, but the ratings for the US television market is slightly different to the film market hence the options in this area include TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, and TV-MA.

As with Movies, the settings for TV Shows have no impact on TV Shows that have been downloaded to the device from a source other than the iTunes Store.

Books:

By default, users can sample and purchase any book from the iBook Store. That is, unless you have deactivated access to the iBook Store as discussed in Part 1 of this guide. If you haven’t restricted access to the entire store, you may still wish to prevent books that contain Explicit Sexual Content from being installed and read on the end user’s device.

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Figure 9: Disable Access To Explicit Books

In this situation, simply turn off this option and those titles will no longer be available. Please note that this option is not necessarily a complete solution, as books need to be labeled as Explicit. There are a number of books that can be classed as having borderline Explicit Sexual Content as it is part of the storyline, even if it is not the intent of the entire book. In this example, books like this would still generally be accessible. If you are truly concerned, then we recommend you turn off access to the iBook Store.

This setting also has no impact on third party book reading apps such as Amazon’s Kindle app, nor does it apply to PDF files that are downloaded from the Internet and readable from within the iBooks app.

Apps:

You may not know that Apps also have recommended age group ratings. Via this area you can restrict access to apps that only apply to certain age groups. These age groups include 4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+.

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Figure 10: Allow Apps By Age Group

You also have the option of Don’t Allow Apps. If you select Don’t Allow Apps, then all third party apps will be hidden on the iOS device and the only apps available to use will be the default ones that come preinstalled with iOS 7, from Apple.

Warning: If you choose to turn off third party apps via this method, only to later change your mind, any existing folders or icon structure will be removed when Allow All Apps is turned back on. You will then need to manually modify the app layout and folder structure on the home screen.

Siri:

If you haven’t disabled Siri, you may wish to restrict some additional options. Whilst Siri will not use explicit language, depending on the questions that are asked, Siri will recognize spoken explicit content in a user’s request and subsequently replace letters with asterisks. If you are concerned about this then we suggest that you turn off the Explicit Language option.

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Figure 11: Control Siri’s Language And Search Capabilities

The second option in this area relates to the results of a search request that is asked of Siri. When you turn this option off, Siri will no longer search content contained within Wikipedia, Bing, or Twitter.

It is important to note that even if both of these options are turned off, Siri may still present profane information if it is collected from the Internet. We suggest you turn Siri off completely, as shown in Part 1, if this is a concern.

Websites:

By default, iOS 7 allows access to all websites. This option gives you the choice of being able to Limit Adult Content as well as assign access to Specific Websites.

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Figure 12: Allow Website Settings

Limiting adult content on iOS via this method is very similar to third party applications, for Mac and Windows, which can filter out what is deemed to be adult content. It is important to remember that it is not foolproof and can be circumvented; but it is better than nothing.

When you tap on Limit Adult Content, you will be presented with additional options that gives you the opportunity to Always Allow certain websites, or Never Allow certain websites. The Always Allow option is designed to unblock a website that has been flagged as having Adult Content but you may wish for the end user to have access to the site. Similarly, there may be some adult sites that are not picked up automatically and blocked. If this is the case, you can add the site to Never Allow thereby preventing the content from that site to load.

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Figure 13: Allow Specific Websites Only

If you want complete control over what the end user can have access to then we suggest selecting Specific Websites Only. When you select this option you will be presented with a series of sites that are kid friendly and recommended by Apple.

Each of these sites can be deleted if you don’t wish for the end user to have access to them. Simply swipe from right to left over the website name to bring up the Delete button.

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Figure 14: Remove Or Add Specific Websites

At the very bottom of this list, you will notice an option for Add a Website as highlighted in Figure 14. When you select this option you will need to assign a name you would like to allocate to the site, as well as the URL (website address) of the site you would like to give permission to. You can add more than one website by repeating this process.

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Figure 15: View Of Allowed Websites Within Safari For iOS

When the end user goes to Safari and selects either a new page, or taps on the Search/Address bar at the top of the display, the allowed websites will be presented in icon form as shown in Figure 15.

It is important to note that whilst this is a fantastic method to sandbox the end user’s access to the Internet, some aspects may result in the user experience being too limited. For instance, if you allow access to wikipedia.org, you will also need to allow access to en.m.wikipedia.org as that is the English language, mobile version, of the site that works with iOS devices.

Should the end user come across a restriction, the following message from within Safari for iOS will appear.

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Graphic 16: Warning Message When A Website Is Blocked

If you tap on Allow Website, you will be prompted to enter your Restrictions Passcode and once that has been entered the web page will be permanently unblocked. This new unblocked website will then be presented in the list of approved websites thereby allowing you to deny access to the site at a later date.

These settings will also apply to third party web browsers such as Google’s Chrome. That being said, the user experience is likely to differ from the default Safari experience as presented in this article.

Require Password:

This feature will protect your iTunes account from being used excessively without your permission. The two options available are Immediately and 15 minutes.

If you select immediately, your password will need to be entered each time an attempt to purchase or download free content is made via the iTunes or App Stores.

If you select 15 minutes, then your password will not need to be entered until a further 15 minutes has elapsed, from the last time your password was entered. This lapse of time can result in the end user purchasing additional content within that period.

This option also applies to In-App Purchasing. Therefore, we strongly recommend that all users select Immediately.

This has been Part 2 of our guide to Parental Restrictions In iOS 7. Make sure you follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be automatically notified when Part 3 is released along with other special deals and information pertaining to our group learning classes.

If you have any questions, please drop into our store and our knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help you.