Thursday, April 30, 2015

Baby-proof your iPhone with Guided Access: locks home button and screen for videos and apps!

Sometimes, parents need to resort to technology to keep babies, toddlers, and even big kids happy in certain situations (long dinners, road trips, or lengthy waits at a doctor's office, to name a few).

Am I the only one who had no idea you could lock the home button on an iPhone and iPad for uninterrupted videos for baby/toddler? About six months ago, I found an app called Baby Lock, which allows me to pull up various YouTube videos and lock the screen so Andrew couldn't pause the video. It worked for a while... until he found the home button. Since the home button is the only button on the face of an iPhone or iPad, it captivates the attention of small inquisitive children and, apparently, they cannot stop pushing it! This rendered my Baby Lock app somewhat useless.

I recently discovered Guided Access, a setting in iOS6 or greater. This is the best iPhone (or iPad) find for a mom so far! I can open any app on my device and set what I'd like to lock. For apps where he needs to touch the screen (like my favorite Fisher Price Laugh & Learn app), I can allow touch but lock the home button. For a video, I can lock everything so he cannot manipulate the screen, the home button, or even the volume. Best iOS discovery yet!

Here is how you baby-proof your iPhone or iPad using Guided Access:

Go to Settings -- General -- Accessibility, then scroll down to find Guided Access:

With Guided Access allowed, you can now baby-proof your iPhone or iPad for any app! Simply open the app you want your child to view, then triple-click the home button. Click on "options" and select what you want disabled for that particular app. For a game, maybe you just want to disable to home button. For a video, you probably want to disable touch and motion as well. If the volume is already set where you want it, you can disable the volume change as well. To enable again, simply triple-click the home button again. If you set a passcode, it will ask you for that to unlock. Then the iPhone or iPad is back to normal with all buttons functioning.

This is a lifesaver for delays at the doctor's office or when Andrew decides he is not going to happily sit in sister's carpool line! How did I not find this sooner? Share it with your parent friends!

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