A year or two ago I wrote about how Google and Apple have both failed Parental controls. Since then things have not gottenmuch better.
In response to a comment on an old post, this is the compromise I use for the children's accounts on iOS and OS X.
- Google is blocked. I find Bing searches easier to track and control because it doesn't use https.
- Children get our family Google Apps domain email through mail.app IMAP, not through Gmail.
- Children access our family Calendars from their iPhones, not from the desktop. (I could use iCal on the desktop, but iCal is one of the worst pieces of software garbage ever produced.)
- A 'Family and Learning' account can be accessed at any time. It has very limited net access, has WorldBook, has apps, iTunes, etc.
- Each child has their own account. Parental control is set to 'automatic' with a few domains specifically allowed. I was never able to get domain specific filtering to work. After they are on the computer I review their browser history with them. They could of course delete specific browser pages, but I don't believe they have (the computer is very visible and public). I stopped reviewing log files because Apple's log file review UI is almost as crappy as iCal.
- Because iOS apps have so many back doors to webkit, particularly via ads, we don't use any 'free' apps. Safari is disabled. For now we allow iTunes despite the content it provides -- the boys are getting older.
This works for us, but Apple's Parental Control support is lazy and incompetent. They simply don't care.
Android/Google, as best I can tell, are worse. Note that Google Gmail explicitly states all US users must be 14 or over (COPPA partly, but really this is a Google copout). i don't think Android OS includes any default parental controls.
I don't know how Windows 7 does. I suspect it's a bit better. I can't find anything about parental controls in Metro/Windows Mobile.