Apple has applied for yet another patent; this one is for filtering text messages. Why would one want to filter text messages, you ask? To prevent sexting of course!
Sexting -- SMS text messages containing sexual content -- restrictions could allows the user (or parent of the user) to block the exchange of text-based messages containing any type of content, or to have the offending content removed before the transmission is complete.
Systems, devices, and methods are provided for enabling a user to control the content of text-based messages sent to or received from an administered device. In some embodiments, a message will be blocked (incoming or outgoing) if the message includes forbidden content. In other embodiments, the objectionable content is removed from the message prior to transmission or as part of the receiving process. The content of such a message is controlled by filtering the message based on defined criteria.
The patent is not only about stopping material, however. It also talks about requiring certain text to be included in the messages.
The criteria may be defined according to a parental control application. These techniques also may be used, in accordance with instructional embodiments, to require the administered devices to include certain text in messages. These embodiments might, for example, require that a certain number of Spanish words per day be included in e-mails for a child learning Spanish.
If Apple adds this type of control to the iPhone, it will be very appealing to parents who want to make sure their teens aren't engaging in activity they do not approve of. Teens, however, will likely not welcome this feature with open arms. On the flip side, the more control a parent has over an electronic device, the more likely they will purchase it for their child.
As a new mom to a baby girl, you better believe I hope this type of control is available when I'm ready to give her her first iPhone.
Any parents out there hoping to see this feature hit iPhones in the near future? Any teens hoping this feature does not hit the scene until you're out of the control of your parents?