KEY POINTS

  • A bug allows kids to bypass Apple's new Communication Limits feature
  • CNBC tested the feature and discovered how the bug works
  • Apple said it will release a complete fix in an upcoming update

Apple had just released the new Communication Limits feature that is seen to help parents have control over who their kids can communicate with. A new bug, however, allows kids to bypass the feature – without any added effort at all.

Communication Limits, a feature within Screen Time, allows parents to have greater control over who their kids can communicate with on their iPhones or iPads at specific times of the day. The new feature came with the recently released iOS 13.3, but just when people thought that the new feature will finally help parents have more peace of mind, comes along a new bug that allows kids to bypass it.

According to a report from CNBC, “Communication Limits does not work as advertised if contacts are not stored to iCloud by default.” Why is that? To help readers understand, here's how the feature works:

Communication Limits allows parents to prohibit their kids from communicating with anyone not included in the list of people in the Contacts app. When the setting is set to “Contacts Only” during “Allowed Screen Time,” kids will only be able to communicate with people in the Contacts list. When it's set to “Everyone,” however, kids can communicate with anybody.

Things become different during “Downtime.” During this time, parents can limit their children to communicate with only a select number of people from the Contacts list. Kids won't be able to call, text, or receive calls and texts from people who are not selected, even if they're in the Contacts list.

CNBC tested the feature and found that it doesn't work with contacts not stored in iCloud. The site said it set up Communication Limits so that it will prevent a child from communicating with people not included in the Contacts list.

The feature, however, didn't stop an unknown number from texting the child holding the device, which had the setting turned on. What's more, the feature didn't stop the child from adding the unknown number to the list of contacts. The child will be allowed to save the number, then communicate with that number after it is stored.

CNBC noted that the bug doesn't work during Downtime, as it doesn't allow the user to add a number to the address book after being contacted.

Apple said it is working on a “complete fix” that will be released “in an upcoming software update.”

whatsapp-ios-iphone-phone-homescreen-apps-1370785-pxhere A new report claims that one of the major features of the latest iOS 13.3 update is failing to deliver its promised protection. Photo: CC Public Domain/pxhere.com