Sunday, December 28, 2014

Toddler-proof that iPad

We have all done it. Offer your iPad to your toddler so you can have 10 minutes of quiet to actually get something done or handed your toddler your iPhone to stem a tantrum while waiting in line at the DMV. I won't judge you, I've done it too. I am not anti-technology with kids, as long as the sessions are moderated and far between I'm perfectly fine with allowing O to use my iPad.  C'mon, that thing's been a lifesaver, am I right?

So, do you have the same problem that I have with them, that home button is just too tempting for the little toddler fingers to ignore. They jump from game to game with blatant disregard for actually interacting with that education app that you researched and asked all of your mommy friends for advice about before installing. Ack! How did he get into my mail... don't delete all of my apps!

Yep, I've been there too. At one point I counted and he had opened 42 apps in the span of 5 minutes of using my iPad.

Apple actually has the neatest setting to help quell the overuse of the home button. Guided access. It is seriously a lifesaver for any iOS device that a toddler will touch.  Combine it with parental controls and you can hand over your idevice without worry of losing important apps, the purchase of new, ridiculous apps, or the spastic app-opening only a toddler can bring.

How do I use guided access you ask?

Enabling Guided Access

Oh, so easy! On your iOS (version 6 & up) device go to

 Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access

Flip the switch to turn it on, set a passcode and you're set. iOS 8 has even expanded this feature to include time limits so you can control your child's access that more granularly.

Flipping that switch doesn't interfere with your usage of your device. In fact, you won't even notice a difference until you enable guided access in an app by triple clicking the home button.  When you do it for the first time within an app a menu will come up allowing you to set the preferences for the app. The choices are enabling or disabling the:
  • Sleep/Wake button
  • Volume buttons
  • Motion
  • Keyboards
  • Touch
  • Restricting touch on certain parts of the screen
Set what you want them to be able to access and click start.  The settings for that app will be remembered each time you use the app so you just need to triple click the home button and the guided access will start.  To exit guided access mode, triple click the home button again and it will prompt you for your password or fingerprint. It will take you back to the menu screen where you can adjust the settings or exit altogether.

Enabling Restrictions

This is crucial in protecting your apps and preventing further purchases from those tiny little fingers. Go to

Settings > General > Restrictions

to set up the parental controls. It will prompt you for your password then bring up a whole host of options to limit what your phone can and can't do. You can go through and choose what would work best for you. My goto choices are disabling
  • iTunes Store
  • iBooks Store
  • Deleting Apps
  • In-App Purchases
That means that if I want to delete an app or purchase something within an app I have to disable the restriction so it is an extra hurdle, but well worth it in my opinion since so many apps now offer in-app purchases and kids are quick