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! Here’s how to use Guided Access in iOS to lock down a device to one app.
As a parent, you might be looking for parental control tools for many possible reasons. You might be concerned about the content your child sees when surfing the web. You might be concerned about too much screen time and want to set limits. You might be concerned with who your child communicates with. You might be concerned with the content your teen is sharing on social media. You might be concerned with all these things!
Parental control tools can assist you as part of a “digital parenting” toolkit. I say toolkit because that’s what any software product is – a tool to assist you, not to replace you. Meaning, you can’t just rely on a parental control software product alone. Ongoing discussions are key to establishing healthy internet and device usage habits.
This list includes some of the products that I’ve wanted to write about, but just haven’t had the time. I’m also including some of the parental control and monitoring software tools I’ve written about already, for a “one-stop-shopping” resource on the site.
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.
One of the biggest challenges parents face is how to manage their children’s online access and device use. Before the rapid adoption of mobile devices it was easier – install parental controls on the family computer and you’re done. While that is still recommended, it will not help when a child’s primary computer use is on their phone or tablet. And when each child has his or her own device it is even more complicated. Luckily there are a number of parental control tools available to help enforce a healthy “tech” balance. Here’s a review of Copilot Family, a parental control tool for smartphones and tablets.
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.
Ah, that time of year! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far. For me it’s been pretty busy, and you may have noticed fewer posts than usual. So while I haven’t had time to write up a new review or article this week there is still helpful information to share. Whether you are tablet shopping for the kids, wondering about parental controls on the new gaming systems, or looking for kid-safe browsers for iPods, iPads, or iPhones, I’ve got you covered.