iPhone 5s internet restriction solutions for a teenager
June 11, 2014 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a simpler way to cut-off internet access between specific times at night and morning on an iPhone...

I'm trying to determine the most optimal and streamlined method of blocking access to the Internet on my 15 y/o daughter's iPhone after a specific hour at night during the week and on weekends instead of our nightly ritual of making sure we have it in our possession at bedtime (especially since I usually go to bed much earlier). Right now, I enable restrictions on the Wi-Fi network after 10 PM and also on our AT&T account at the same hour so that during the week there should not be any way to engage in Snapchat/IM/Twitter etc. and get some sleep. Weekends are more liberalized, etc. This can get cumbersome when I periodically need to change settings and I'm not easily able to access the network settings on the computer.

Does anybody know of any simple solution that would essentially lock the phone down in airplane mode at a certain point in time? I would like to have a situation where she can use the phone for listening to music.

Note that I am not seeking parenting advice on negotiating cell phone use. Simply a streamlined technical solution. Thanks.
posted by docpops to Technology (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This is not possible on an iPhone at this time.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 9:05 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I downloaded "ParentKit" from the app store to my phone, but I have yet to set it up on my iPad which my daughter uses from time to time.

The app is Free, but the service is subscription based, (around $40 / year) if memory serves me correctly.

I know they have a scheduling feature and you can block apps... it appears by the site description to go beyond the generic "Apple only" apps which are blockable through the Settings>Restrictions already on iOS settings, to include purchased apps as well.

I also briefly looked into "Norton Family" but as I have a general aversion to Norton products and the reviews on this software were pretty bad, I never got much further into it.

However, if there are these two apps which claim to do what you want, my guess is that this would be a good place to start looking if not at one of these specific apps, but at iOS software in this vein.

If this is a major cause of desperation for you, you can also do some research to see if there are any better Android apps (which would require a switch to a Samsung or similar device, however), or if a better solution could be possible provided the iPhone was Jailbroken.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:52 PM on June 11, 2014

Also note that while this may not do precisely what you want, which is to put the phone in Airplane mode, you could restrict installation of apps in the General Settings, and place the "offending" apps Facebook, Safari, Chrome, Twitter, etc. on timeout at night, and manage it from your phone.

Now that this question has gotten me interested in the app I downloaded before, I'll have to try it when I get home.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:57 PM on June 11, 2014

Looking at that application - it is pretty weak sauce. It puts a "profile" which is basically a bundle of configuration settings normally used for testing applications or setting up every phone in a company with the same corporate email settings or things like that.

There is no way to prevent a child from just deleting the profile from the settings menu, so if they are even slightly tech savvy the app does nothing.

Looking around you jailbreak the device there are some purported solutions- but you can't jailbreak the latest version of iOS (or stop your daughter upgrading to it - there is no downgrade) and I suspect none of them work very well.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 2:20 PM on June 11, 2014

Thanks. I suspected all of this as much. From everything I can tell this is a problem in need of a simple solution and one will eventually be forthcoming. Restricting network access via ATT is easy enough, really, and avoids the daily nuisance of monitoring the phone.
posted by docpops at 3:59 PM on June 11, 2014

You could put your router on a simple powerpoint timer (less than $20 from any electrical/hardware store). They are super easy to configure, and you could have the router go off each night at a certain time. Of course, this would depend on teenager not being able to get physical access to the room where the router is.
posted by shazzam! at 12:18 AM on June 12, 2014

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