Child Lock Options for Android and iOS

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Children these days enjoy playing games on their parent's phones and tablets. The problem is what if junior decides to explore your text app and send gibberish text messages to everyone in your address book! What if the little guy discovers there is a little button with a trash can on it and happens to be in your notes app or your photo roll app. Uh oh! 

We have a five year old and more than once has he discovered some of these things to do. Fortunately photos are backed up via iCloud and Google+ photos. That is a topic for another post on how to set that up. Since my wife has an iPhone and I use an Android, we get to see apps on both platforms in our house. Here is a little challenge - Apple vs. Android - find a child lock app to lockdown which apps your little one can access.

kids place android app iconOff to google with some searches - "android child lock app" and "iphone child lock app" - The Android search pops right up with a great result in the #1 spot called "Kids Place". I downloaded it and put it to use right away. It works great as an app launcher where you pick the apps that you want to put on new child ready home screen. In order to come out of the child's home screen you will push the exit button and the you have to enter a four digit PIN that you will know but will block your child from exiting

Now off to the iOS offerings. Um, well not quite a clear answer here. This is where the apple restrictions on what third party apps can do seems to make a sandbox app like this not possible. I'm looking through all the search pages and not really finding anything at all like what Android has. 

The closest thing I can find is under
Settings > General >Accessibility > Guided Access

If you turn this on with a passcode you can then start up a single child friendly app and triple click the home button to pop-up the option to activate the guided access lock. This will prevent the child from leaving the app to go explore the other icons on your home screen! When you want to escape out of the lockdown, triple click the button again and enter your passcode.

If you have other suggestions for iPhone and child lock ideas, please put them in the comments. 

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Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS
Interesting....I know parents have to guard their info/tech tools, but had not considered there were any lock options.
Jul 13, 2013 01:34 AM #1
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Craig - A friend recently bought a new iPhone and since her old one was basically worthless, she loaded it up with kid's apps and gave it to her 4 year old, who is amazingly competent at working with it. Not as cheap as an app, but I wouldn't want my granddaughters playing with my phone anyhow.

Jul 13, 2013 04:42 AM #2
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Carol - a little  peace of mind that you don't have to watch over their shoulder constantly to see where their fingers are headed

Dick - yes we have an older iphone we use for that too. Sometimes my phone is the one that is charged so I'm glad to have the walled sandbox to play in :)

Jul 13, 2013 10:47 AM #3
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Thank you Craig, this is really important to know with 4 young.grandsons around.

Jul 13, 2013 12:39 PM #4
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Craig, I have a general lock on my phone which has come in handy more than once with the grandkids, but had not considered limiting the apps. However, our 4-year old grandson loves to look at his baby pictures and videos, so couldn't lock him out of that :)

Jul 24, 2013 11:59 AM #5
Mary Borth
Bloomington-Normal, IL

Very timely for me. After a long car trip this weekend, I had to delete 11 different kids gaming apps (free) from my phone - that I handed back to my son to entertain him for the last hour home!

Jul 30, 2013 06:56 AM #6
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