Plucky does not work on iPhones and iPads

Filtering on iOS is notoriously difficult – some would say impossible – because of how the system is designed by Apple. Apple has historically made it somewhere between difficult and impossible for something like Plucky to be useful on iOS.

In the mobile space, we are prioritizing Android because on Android there is at present at least a prayer that Plucky might be made to work as intended on some devices. On iOS, we have little hope that we can integrate deeply enough for the filter to be enforceable. But who knows? Perhaps some day Apple will change their policies and architecture.

If you’ve got ideas on how we can ship an enforceable filter on iOS, please feel free to let us know.

If you’re looking to use Plucky on android, windows, macos, or linux, see those pages instead.

Other options

Apple Screentime

A free native filtering option implemented into iOS through the settings app. It is a bit limited in terms of filtering compared to other options but can still be quite powerful, and can be used in combination with more advanced filters below.

To really lock in safe settings, do the following:

  • Download either SPIN browser or Purity browser, whichever suits you better
  • Turn on screen time in settings > screen time, making sure to select This is my child’s iPhone and letting your accountability partner fill in the details
  • Open settings > screen time > content & privacy restrictions > itunes & app store purchases, then set installing apps to don’t allow
  • Go back one screen > allowed apps and set safari to toggled off
  • Close the settings. All future changes to these settings will require your accountability partner to enter the passcode.

SPIN Safe Browser (safe and easy)

SPIN is a very safe browser because of its conservative database. It puts grey sites (normally good but can sometimes include sexual content) into a category called “Prone to Bad Content” and blocks this category by default. This means things like Instagram and Twitter are blocked by default. Grey sites that allow for enforceable filtering, however, are allowed by SPIN with their filters forced-on, like Google and YouTube.

Key features:

  • Free (or $2/month to unlock password protection and custom allow/block lists)
  • Amazing default protections for simplest setup
  • Supports no-images browsing (but can’t lock the feature with the passcode)
  • Recommended for: anyone, but probably suits parents/kids more than self-helpers

Purity Safe Browser (Plucky-like features)

Purity Browser is more Plucky-like in its featureset. It doesn’t as strict of a filtering database as SPIN (grey sites are allowed by default) but has a default failsafe mechanism where it detects suspicious browsing/searches and blocks them on the fly (while also alerting your accountability partner if you’ve registered one).

Key features:

  • 3 day free trial, then $5/month
  • Very good default protections, allows for more customization
  • Supports no-image browsing that can be locked behind passcode
  • Supports keyword blocking that can be locked behind passcode
  • Similar to Plucky in how changes are processed (more restrictive is immediate, less restrictive requires partner approval)
  • Amazing accountability support
  • Easily add anything to block list while you browse with quick-access menu at bottom-middle of screen
  • Recommended for: anyone, but mainly self-helpers with accountability partners

Last updated: 2024-01-15