Monday, Sept. 18 Apple is releasing the new software update, iOS 17. This affects iPhones and iPads. And while there are a few "cool" new features, millions of parents around the world will be frustrated to know that there is no promised fix for the bugs identified and known in iOS parental controls known as "Screen Time."
Why it's important? If you have an iPhone 8 or an iPhone X, your phone will be deemed too old to receive this update. For a full list of phones that will work, go here. (iPads are also affected, but most parents probably rely on their phone since it's with them. For a list of iPads that are updatable, go here.) Screen Time (when it works) relies heavily on the parent's phone having the most current update. Without an updated phone, the Screen Time settings you have will not work reliably. For example, the downtime you set for your kid's phone might suddenly disappear, making all features available 24-7. (For this reason and many others, we heartily suggest parents remove phones and iPads from bedrooms.)
The phone or device you are monitoring/filtering with Screen Time should be updated too for your best chance at reliability (which could still be elusive... there's just no guarantee), but if the device is too old, check out these videos for a short-term solution.
The iPhone Screen Time glitch is beyond just being annoying, it actually opens up the company to serious liability when it comes to child safety. We wrote about it in our iPhone Warning blog, and it was brought forth publicly in July by several media outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Apple says they are "working on it." They've made no specific plans known as to when things will work as they are supposed to.
Stay tuned! Once the update drops, we'll keep track of how it's going.