How to Kid-Proof Your iPad

How to Kid Proof Your iPad

It’s no secret that kids LOVE playing on iPads. Whether it’s tinkering with the device’s default clock or honing their reading skills on one of our educational apps, children love to tap, tilt and swipe their way through the day. And while we’re all for creativity and curiosity here at Loud Crow, this natural inquisitiveness can often cause kids to investigate apps and features that most parents would prefer to keep restricted.

Rather than worrying about your child sending emails to your boss or text messaging with your Mom, here are a few quick tips to help you keep your kids safe while playing on your iPad.

The Benefits of Guided Access

Apple iOS 6 and the latest iOS 7 updates for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch included a new feature called “Guided Access”, which makes it easy for parents to corral their kids within one app. Guided Access works by locking the iPad into a specific application. It also offers the option of disabling the hardware buttons so that your child can’t switch out to other apps or settings. Once activated, it’s practically impossible for your child to change your settings or access off-limits areas.

How to Set Up Guided Access in iOS 6

Parents can activate Guided Access in iOS 6 by pulling open their iPad Settings. From there:

Accessibility Improvements on the iPad

Flip the switches to “ON” in order to active the Guided Access feature and Screen Sleep mode.

  1. Select the General option.
  2. Under Accessibility scroll down to the Learning section and tap on the “Guided Access” option.
  3. Flip the switch to “ON” and make sure that the passcode feature is turned on by using the “Set Passcode” tool.
  4. You can also activate the “Screen Sleep” option in order to help conserve battery life (a smart choice if your child is prone to leaving your iPad running after a play session).
  5. Guided Access is now on and ready to use. Fire up your child’s favorite app and then triple-click the Home button to bring up the Accessibility menu.
  6. The screen that appears will enable you to lock hardware buttons, check touch access and ensure motion detection is on. What’s more, you’ll be able to restrict access to certain parts of the screen.

To turn Guided Access off, simply triple-click the Home button again. You’ll be prompted to enter your passcode. This will disable the settings so that you can navigate out of the locked app. To deactivate Guided Access completely, return to the Guided Access area in the Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access area and flip the setting to “OFF” (you’ll be prompted to enter your passcode again).

Setting Up Guided Access in iOS 7

The steps for activating Guided Access in iOS 7 are very similar. The only difference involves the “Screen Sleep” function. This feature is now called “Auto-Lock” and is located on the Settings > General screen. Here you will have the option of putting your device to “sleep” after 2, 5, 10 or 15 minutes of it not being in use.

Other Ways to Protect Your iPad

Here are a few more ways to improve your child’s user experience on your iPad device:

Disabling the Mute Button

Not a day goes by at Loud Crow where we don’t receive a support email complaining about sound issues. While this sometimes has to do with a design flaw, nine times out of ten it’s an issue with your device’s mute button. Located on the right-hand side of your device, this switches default function is for muting and unmuting your iPad. Accidentally hit it and you could silence your device unknowingly.

You can avoid this frustration by overriding the side switch’s function. In the Settings > General area, look for the Use Side Switch to: area. Select the “Lock Rotation” option to deactivate the mute button. Now when the button is engaged, your screen’s orientation will stay locked in place, a useful feature for those of you who like to read on your device.

Restricting Mute Button on iPad

Disable the mute button on your iPad by activating the “Lock Rotation” option.

Disabling Multitasking Gestures

Multitasking gestures have been an integral part of iPad navigation since the iOS 5 was unveiled in 2007.  When enabled, these gestures make it easy for you to quickly switch between apps. While handy for adults, this feature can be a huge hassle for children that lack fine or gross motor coordination.

If your child is in the habit of using their whole hand to swipe through an app (a default gesture that makes the iPad screen slide to a previous app), you might want to consider disabling the Multitasking Gestures features under Settings > General. Simply slide the selector to the left to deactivate this function.

Disabling Multitasking Gestures

Disable the Multitasking Gestures features under Settings > General.

Disabling Control Center

A swipe up from the bottom of your device’s screen in iOS 7 brings up the newly-introduced Control Center feature on iPhones, iPads and iPods. This gesture is set to be active by default on both the lock screen and within apps. Keep little fingers from triggering this action by disabling this tool on the Settings > Control Center screen.

Disabling Control Centre on iPad

Disabling this feature on the Settings > Control Center screen.

Implementing one or more of the above child-proofing techniques will help provide your child with the safest, most enjoyable iPad experience possible (and keep your personal apps and information out of harms way).

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