iOS Devices - iPhone, iPod and iPad

Here you'll find instructions and guidance for your iOS devices. Learn about restrictions, location settings, iMessage and more.

Keep track of your family’s whereabouts: Location sharing in iOS

Using the Find My Friends app along with iOS Family sharing

Now that I’ve been using iOS family sharing features for a few months, I’m finding it isn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be. I wrote earlier this year about the “Pros and Cons” of iOS Family Sharing. This post builds upon that one, but focuses on one feature in particular that I’ve found useful: location sharing. With location sharing, you can check in on the location of family members, without the need for an additional app on your device or theirs.

How to prevent anonymous sexting over AirDrop in iOS

Decline or Accept a photo in AirDrop

There is a feature in iOS that lets you share photos with other Apple users nearby. This feature is called AirDrop. It can be a convenient way to quickly share content with friends and family members from one device to another. But it can also be used for more nefarious purposes. Learn how to prevent AirDrop from being used by strangers to send (icky) photos to your device!

iOS Family Sharing Pros and Cons

family sharing

When iOS 8 was announced, I was pleased to see the new Family Sharing features. Family sharing allows you to share purchases among family members, use a shared photo library and family calendar, and easily share your location so you can find each other on a map. Family sharing also allows for the creation of Apple ID’s for those under age thirteen. These all seem like great features in theory. But how do they actually work in practice? Here are some of the pros and cons of Apple Family Sharing.

The solution to unwanted group iMessages on the way with iOS 8

ios8 purchase request

Apple unveiled their new operating system, iOS 8. This update is due for release in the fall for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch. There are many new features but a few in particular that parents will want to learn about. At the top of that list is the answer to many of our prayers: the ability to remove yourself from a group iMessage! And the new family sharing feature has great potential for those with multiple Apple devices in the home.

Frequent Locations: Your iPhone knows where you’ve been

Map showing frequent locations

Did you know that your iPhone keeps a history of all the locations you’ve visited? This is a feature called “Frequent Locations”. The iPhone keeps track of the dates you were at a specific location and even how long you were there. This feature is often overlooked because it takes several clicks to find it. Here are instructions for turning off Frequent Locations.

Use different Passcodes for Restrictions and Lock Screen on Kids’ Devices

Set passcode

Recently I received a question from two different readers about restriction and lock screen passcodes on Apple devices. It is recommended to use a different passcode for restrictions than the one used on the lock screen. So here are step-by-step instructions for how to change the restrictions setting to make it different than the lock screen passcode. This example assumes that you’ve already set restrictions, but you now want to change the Restrictions passcode.

Two iOS 7 features Parents will Love


Last week was the much ballyhooed debut of the iPhone 5S and 5C along with iOS 7. iOS is the Apple operating system for mobile devices. While a lot of folks are commenting on the new design, there are at least two new features that parents should be aware of. First, you can now restrict Safari from showing adult content, and second, you can block contacts. Blocking contacts means there is a solution to the problem of group iMessages.

You may want to upgrade your child’s devices just for these features! Here’s the low down.

The problem with Group iMessages

iMessage logo

A group iMessage is a message sent to a group rather than just one recipient. So what’s the problem? Once you’re in, you cannot get out! Think of a group iMessage as the equivalent of the dreaded “Reply to All” e-mail in a work setting. Here are some tips for dealing with Group iMessages that your kids are involved in.

Limit your child to one app with Guided Access


Here’s the scenario – you’re sitting in the bleachers at your daughter’s basketball game. Her younger sister is sitting next to you and says “Mommy, I’m bored. Can I play a game on your phone?” You hand over your iPhone and the little one starts happily playing Angry Birds. You go back to watching the game. Next thing you know, she’s closed out of Angry Birds and all your apps are rearranged. Argh!