07 February 2016

Stop iPad game distractions at school

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prevent your child playing games on their iPad at school.  Hopefully the school will have restrictions in place and your child abides by them. 

The perfect solution would be an app that allows you to lock a folder full of apps.  Then you could have the passcode and only unlock that games folder when your child is home.  However, the apps that allow that feature are only available to you if you jailbreak your iPad.   

I don’t recommend jailbreaking your iPad because it terminates your warranty, and also opens the iPad, and your child, to security issues and apps that you might not want them accessing.  Jailbreaking is a technical process, and not for the novice; each time there’s a software update you’ll need to re-jailbreak the device, and there is also the risk of permanent damage being done to the device.

So, what can you do to make sure that their games aren’t distracting your child every time they open their iPad?

Turn off notifications

Turn off notifications on the games your child plays, so they won’t be distracted by announcements of approaching tournaments, new levels or prizes they can collect in their favourite games.

  • To see what Notifications are appearing on the iPad, swipe down from the top of the screen.

To turn off Notifications:

1. Go to Settings

2. Select Notifications

3. From the list of apps that appears on the right of the screen, you’ll need to select each of the games individually to access their Notification settings

4. Swipe next to Allow Notifications to turn off all notifications for each game/app.

  • Be careful which apps you switch off notifications for – they might need their calendar or reminder app notifications!
FYI, this is where you can choose how and where you receive notifications from apps; you can choose where on the screen they appear and whether there is a sound notification as well.

03 February 2016

Get to know your iPad

Setting up your child's iPad for school

Getting to know the iPad

If your family is new to iPads then you need to get to know the device.  Hopefully your child will receive some instruction at school, but it's also a good idea for you to know where to turn if your child needs help.  There are a few places you can try:

On the iPad there is a pre installed app – Tips. This app gives you single screen tips to help you get to know your iPad. Just swipe to see the next tip.  There is also a link in Tips to the iPad User Guide, which you can download for free from the iBooks Store.

If you want to know all about the latest updates and features you can download the Tips & Tricks - Secrets for iPad app. This gives you in depth information, app and hardware reviews, notifications about new apps, updates and features – basically EVERYTHING you could possibly need to know about your iPad.  There is a free version and a pro version for $7.99.

01 February 2016

Add your contact details to the iPad lock screen

Setting up your child's iPad for school

It's all very well having a passcode on your child’s iPad so no one but them can access it, but what if it gets lost? Sure, you can use Find My iPhone, but if it's just been left somewhere at school and needs to find its way back to your child you need to make sure it is identifiable.

Your identification choices are:
  •  Add their name and a contact number to the iPad case/cover – great as long as the iPad stays in the case
  • Engrave their name and a contact number on the iPad back (a permanent option, but hidden if the iPad is in a case)
  • Add their name, year, class number, contact number (or any other information you want) to the lock screen, so it's the first thing that is seen when the iPad opens.  This is the easiest option, and it’s also one you can change whenever you need to, ie. change of year, change of phone number etc.

 How to customise the iPad lock screen

You don't need to install an app to add your choice of information to the lock screen. You can use any method you like to create an image that you can save as a photo which can then be chosen as the lock screen image.  You could even handwrite it and then take a photo of the paper with your child's iPad.

Alternatively, and the method I used for my boys’ iPads, was to create an image in PowerPoint.  It is likely that one of the apps you needed to download was either PowerPoint or Keynote, so why not use what you already have.  Just select a nice theme and create one slide with the text you want. Run the slide show and take a screen shot of that one slide.

I’ll run you through the instructions using the PowerPoint app, although it’s almost identical with Keynote:

1.     Open PowerPoint and select a theme your child likes

2.     Double tap each placeholder (text box) and type your text.  You can move the position of each placeholder by tapping it once so you see the solid frame around it, then dragging it to its new position.

TIP:  If you’re using Keynote, the first slide doesn’t always feature the theme you chose, so add a second slide and use that one to create your lock screen image.

3.     Once you are happy with your slide, tap the play button, in the top right corner

4.     Wait a second for the tool bar at the top of the screen to disappear so your slide takes up the full iPad screen, then take a screen shot.  To take a screen shot on the iPad just simultaneously press the home and power buttons.

5.     The image has now been saved to Photos on the iPad.

To set your image as the lock screen:

1.     Go to Settings

2.     Select Wallpaper

3.     Select Choose a New Wallpaper

4.     Tap on Screenshots

5.     Tap the image you just created

6.     If it doesn’t fit the screen perfectly you can adjust it by pinching and stretching to adjust it on the screen

7.     Make sure Perspective Zoom is Off if you’ve adjusted the image

8.     Tap Set Lock Screen

That’s it – your lock screen is done!