When dealing with new technology, there is always a learning curve trying to figure out all the ins and outs of the many features. Today’s mobile devices have come a long way in terms of simplicity and ease of use, but if you are new to Apple devices or coming from the Android platform, you may be unfamiliar with the menus for Parental Controls.
iOS calls parental controls “Restrictions” and changing them on your child’s tablet is pretty straightforward. Just go to Settings>General>Restrictions. Once in the Restrictions menu, you’ll touch the “Enable Restrictions” button at the top. Once pressed, you will be forced to enter a password. The password is key (make sure you remember it! If you enter the wrong password too many times, the device will lock) and you will be forced to enter the password any time you want to make changes to the restrictions or to turn them on and off.
As you scroll down through the restrictions list, you’ll see lots of different controls that can be selected to make the tablet more kid friendly. Some of the areas that can be restricted are the ability to install apps, purchase content on iTunes (books, movies, music), or use the camera or FaceTime. Many other restrictions are available as well. I have found that the ability to restrict access to TV, movies, and other media based on ratings is particularly useful. These ratings are similar to what you see on video games or movies, so every parent will have a different interpretation of what is appropriate for their kids.
You are also able to restrict changes to a whole host of Privacy settings including: Reminders, Contacts, Photos, Calendars, Twitter, and Facebook. This will keep prying eyes (and little kid fingers) from making changes to these settings or making embarrassing posts on social networks on your behalf. However, there are some limitations to all of these Parental Controls. For one thing, there is not currently a way to create multiple logins for multiple users. This can be troublesome in families with multiple kids who use tablets. It also means that if an adult wants to use the iPad after a kid, you need to turn on/off the Restrictions. Hopefully Apple will these issues with multiple logins in future releases of iOS, as that would add greatly to using their tablets for kids.
All in all, however, the Parental controls available on iOS provide a great way to make a regular tablet a tablet for kids