>Instead, the rationale from Apple and defended by you and others is that it is better to make the entire app 17+
Yes, then parents can give the device to children, turn on whatever restrictions based on those ratings, and have it work, even if the kid is trying to get around it by doing all those things.
This is not only intended to defeat 5 year olds, but 14 year olds.
If 500px would prefer to turn that switch off for everyone, then 4+ is possibly the correct rating. If they do not, then the correct rating is 17+.
The only people it prohibits from getting the app, by setting to 17+ are those whom have another person setting 17+ as inappropriate for that user.
You do know the web browser and pretty much any apps can be turned off in restrictions right? You can give the thing to a 4 year old, and the only thing you have to worry about is "will they break it" once you've locked it down correctly.
500px mislabeled their app, and as a result were allowing industrious young people who were otherwise restricted to find stuff like http://500px.com/photo/10228807 (Which I don't view as harmful PERSONALLY, but LOTS of people would find that inappropriate for a kid).
You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.
Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity
Frequent/Intense Profanity or Crude Humor
Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes
Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
Frequent/Intense Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
update: did you actually look at the picture that you linked? I doubt a 14 year old is going to be harmed by it...
I did look at the picture, and intentionally picked it for humor and inclusion in my permanent HN comment history. I don't think any 4+ year old would be harmed at it, but I also think the parents of many 4+ year olds wouldn't want them bandying it about, especially in very religious communities.
Any app that allows general web access must be given a 17+ rating. This includes any browser, as well as any app that happens to include an integrated browser for another purpose (e.g. a Twitter client that shows links in-app).
As for children having access to the built-in web browser, certainly not if their parents don't think full web access is appropriate for them.
You restrict based on age ratings. That's the whole point of his argument.
You set the rating restriction, block the communication apps, Safari, and the kid cannot go download another browser and surf. If Apple goes lax on these ratings, then those parental controls stop working.
I just set my age restrictions to "4+", and was still able to open Chrome, Twitter, Flipboard, etc.
What I want is to be able to lock down certain apps so I can hand my device to my 4-year-old and know that he's not going to get into anything except the few games I have for him. Is that not possible?
I get that, and it's a source of much frustration. The idea of buying an iPhone for your four-year old strikes me as lunacy. These things are marvelous at keeping kids entertained and quiet when you're waiting at a restaurant or checking out at the grocery store, and expecting that there will only be one user of the device ever is annoyingly myopic. It also occurs to me that if you're going to gate it at install time, the iTunes password already does that. Don't give the kid the password, she can't install anything that isn't approved.
There's a tremendous disconnect between how it should work and how it does work. If I want to put my device in "four-year-old mode", I shouldn't have to uninstall everything to get there.
The multiple accounts thing is a good point. I hadn't considered that, but it makes the "single user device" seem even sillier - why can I attach multiple accounts to a device that is otherwise completely inappropriate for multiple people to use at the same time?
I'm aware that the Touch is less expensive, but my argument is that "Just buy a separate device for your 4-year-old" is an insane line of reasoning, whether it's a $200 iPod or a $600 iPhone.
You don't seriously believe that any age restrictions are able to prevent a 14 year from seeing whatever porn he/she wants? Or whatever else.
Sure, they might make the process a bit annoying, but in the end it's always possible to simply jailbreak the device. (not to mention that most 14 year olds know more about technology than their parents)
Thanks for some common sense. Couldn't this be easily solved by releasing two apps with different age ratings? The 17 rated app could additionally require a login to their verification system if they want to have a complete database of such users. I don't see the problem.