Today we are excited to hear insights from a blogger and a father Michael Kummer, who usually writes about technology, health, parenting and traveling. He shares his tips about a topic that worries every smart parent: how to make iDevices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) toddler-friendly?
Michael is a technologist. He loves gadgets that add value by simplifying his life and are increasing his productivity. On his blog, he shares how he uses technology to improve his life and helps to keep his personal information and most valuable data protected.
Most pediatricians recommend limiting children’s use of mobile devices and tablets. And while you may find it relatively easy to define how much time your kids spend on their devices, restricting what they do on them is slightly more challenging.
In this article, I would like to share some simple steps you can take to make an iPhone or iPad toddler-friendly by restricting what your child can do with the device.
On the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, Apple offers two distinct features as part of iOS that can limit what your kids can do with the device:
1. Parental Controls (Restrictions)
2. Guided Access
Parental Controls (Restrictions)
Parental Controls are arguably more useful with older children because they don’t lock them into individual apps. Instead, they allow parents to disable or restrict system-wide functions or applications.
Parental Controls in iOS allow parents to restrict the following functions of an iDevice:
- Disable individual apps and features (i.e., Safari, FaceTime, or Camera),
- Types of content (i.e., Music, movies, or books),
- Privacy settings, and
- Settings and accounts (i.e., Volume limit)
To enable Parental Controls, simply open the *Settings* app and go to *General > Restrictions*. There you can enable or disable specific restrictions based on your needs. More information on Parental Controls is available in the following knowledge base article.
How to use Parental Controls?
Using Parental Controls, you can, for example, prevent your child from downloading apps or using Safari to browse the web, while allowing her to use FaceTime for making video calls to friends or family. Or, you can allow her to listen to music or read an eBook but not to watch movies or TV shows.
Parental Controls are not suitable for younger children as they do not allow you to lock your kid into a specific app.
Guided access is another great feature of iOS that is especially useful for younger children who may be less proficient with the use of an iDevice.
Guided Access helps you to stay focused on a task while using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which app features are available. (Apple)
With Guides Access to you can lock your kid into a specific app, disable specific areas of the screen, or disable hardware buttons.
To turn on Guided Access, open the *Settings* app and go to *General > Accessibility > Guided Access*. Once enabled, you can launch an app, i.e., Photos, and then triple-click the Home button to control how your child can interact with the app.
On the following screen you can fine-tune various options, including disabling:
- The Sleep/Wake Button
- Volume Buttons
- Motion (Change or screen orientation)
- Time Limit
How to use Guided Access?
We had used Guided Access a lot when our toddler was younger because we didn’t want her to accidentally delete photos, or launch apps, other than the one she was allowed to use.
You can find more information about Guided Access in this knowledge base article.
Protect your kids by restricting their iDevices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch)
The tricks mentioned in this article offer necessary protection for your children, but if you want more advanced controls and configuration options, it’s always good to make use of additional layers of safety.
Nevertheless, both Parental Controls and Guided Access are an integral part of iOS and thus available for free on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. So I encourage you to make use of them!
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