If you have kids, and any iProduct, you know how fantastic they are for kids. Big and little kids love smart phones and iPads. Frankly the iPhone has made changing diapers so much easier for me. And do not get me started on how much easier grocery shopping has become! The biggest downfall was always that curious fingers were able to switch out of the app I opened for them, and explore all the other apps. Now, for bigger kids, this isn’t a problem. But for younger kids? Uhg. I have found them deleting my emails, texting people, attempting to buy albums off iTunes (thank goodness for pass codes on that one!) and trying to delete all of my apps. Eek! Not okay!

Luckily, not with the latest update to the iOS system. iOS 6 has what I lovingly call baby mode. It locks your iDevice into whatever app you choose, and disables the hardware buttons. You also have the option of turning off the touch screen, or just disabling certain portions of the screen. For example, while in the FaceTime app the big red “end” button that my 15 month old simply cannot keep his fingers off can be disabled. No more hanging up on grandma every thirty seconds!

Here is how you baby proof your phone or iPad. Open your settings, and choose general. From the general menu choose Accessibility. Scroll down on the accessibility menu until you see Guided Access. Turn on guided access. When you turn it on it will ask you to choose a pass code. This is for turning off baby mode.

Now that you have guided access turned on, choose an app you want to try it with. Open it. Click your home button three times. Then the guided access menu will pop up. You can pick your settings, touch screen on or off, or circle areas you don’t want to be accessed. Then click start. Now you can let your kids use your device without worry. Well, you might have to worry about them dropping it, but not about them browsing the Internet and buying things from China.

To exit guided access you will need to click the home button three times and then enter your pass code. That is really all there is to it!
If you haven’t update your iDevice yet, this might be the motivation you needed! Absolutely worth it!

-Stephanie Wright

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