• Home
  • Apple
  • iOS
  • News
  • Apple Finally Allows iTunes Accounts for Children Under 13 for Educational Purposes

Apple Finally Allows iTunes Accounts for Children Under 13 for Educational Purposes

Apple Finally Allows iTunes Accounts for Children Under 13 for Educational Purposes

Macworld reports that Apple made a rare landmark change to their iTunes terms and conditions late last week, finally allowing children under 13 to have their own iTunes accounts. The change comes as part of a larger thrust to better support the education market – including a host of changes and improvements made to iOS 7 with education in mind.

iOS 7 Education

Here’s what Apple’s iOS 7 Education page has to say about the new education-friendly features coming to their mobile platform:

iOS 7 provides powerful new ways to configure and deploy devices across institutions and features to help schools purchase, distribute and manage apps with ease. App Store license management, seamless enrollment in mobile device management (MDM) and single sign on are just some of the capabilities in iOS 7 that make it ideal for education.

It’s easy to see how the 13-and-over restriction could have significantly hampered Apple’s efforts in education, particularly in elementary schools, where devices such as iPads are increasingly becoming an essential part of modern classrooms. To get around any potential liability issues, Apple won’t allow children under 13 to create their own accounts directly. Instead, Apple will employ a new program to allow schools to create accounts for children once they’ve obtained parental permission.

The revised section of the terms and conditions that once banned “authorized” accounts for pre-teens now notes that “iTunes Service is only available for individuals age 13 years or older, unless you are under 13 years old and your Apple ID was provided to you as a result of a request by an approved educational institution” (emphasis added).

Macworld also provides some additional details on the program:

The change is being matched by new mobile device management (MDM) options that will give teachers greater capabilities to control pupils’ iPads.

They will be able to control app setup, access to documents or printing, and account changes. They’ll also be able to stop children from switching to different apps during lesson time, so they won’t be able to sneak a game of “Angry Birds” when they’re supposed to be studying geography.

Pupils won’t be required to have an Apple ID but doing so will provide a better learning experience, Apple said. It will also allow them to be part of a new volume licensing program for apps that will also be launched later this year.

The MDM protocol is part of iOS 7, the upcoming version of Apple’s operating-system software for the iPhone and iPad.

Apple is among the first to officially allow pre-teens into a major digital content market – Google, on the other hand, still requires users to be at least 13 to use their Play store, and requires parental permission for all users under 18. Personally, I couldn’t be more pleased – it’s great to see Apple striving so hard to make their devices more accessible for education.