iOS 13.3 arrives with improved parental controls

iOS 13.3 and iPadOS 13.3, Apple has added the ability to set communication limits for Phone, FaceTime, Messages, and iCloud contacts. In doing so, parents can better manage Screen Time for their children on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

The update 13.3 of iOS and iPadOS are top-lined by a new feature, Communication Limits, which was promised some time ago to augment the operating systems’ parental controls. Communication Limits enables a parent to choose which of a device’s stored contacts will be allowed to communicate with users during “screen time” and “downtime,” establishing separate lists of permitted contacts for each time period. The limits apply to phone and FaceTime calls, use of the Messages app, and iCloud contacts, but do not block access to “known emergency numbers identified by your carrier.”

The new iOS and iPadOS releases also allow Safari to recognize Lightning, NFC, or USB FIDO2 security keys, and permit disabling of Memoji Stickers in the Messages app. By comparison, tvOS 13.3 adds a setting that re-enables Apple TV users to see their prior, personalized “Up Next” queue of shows rather than Apple’s broadly marketed “What to Watch” list. watchOS 6.1.1 fixes a bug relating to the display of secure rather than insecure web content.

The smart speaker HomePod is also being updated to iOS 13.3 today, promising three key tweaks: an improved ability to “recognize the voice profile[s] of family members,” allowing family members to enable/disable personal requests, and fixing a bug that stopped music from resuming automatically on paired HomePods after phone calls. HomePod added multi-user recognition in early November, but the feature launched as a mess.

You can download the latest iOS and iPadOS updates now.

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