Answering a parent question: Is there a way kids can 'hide' apps on their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch?
iTandCoffee ran another two 'Keeping Kids Safe on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch' sessions at local primary schools this week, at St Rochs in Glen Iris and at Ashburton Primary.
A question asked at one of these session was about whether there is an app that allows kids to hide apps that they don't want parents to see. One of the parents had heard about an app that looks like a calculator, but that actually hides things the child doesn't want parents to see.
Apps that can hide photos and videos
There are apps available in the App Store that do allow for the hiding of photos and videos that the device owner doesn't want others to see.
Here is an article about such apps:
Method for hiding Apps
However, these apps do not allow for hiding of other apps - and there is no such app available in the App Store. (On Android, it is possible to get an app that locks other apps - but this is not possible on Apple devices.)
Instead, anyone wanting to 'hide' apps on an Apple i-Device can use 'app groups'.
By getting apps into the 'wiggle' mode (holding your finger on an app until it wiggles), one app can be dragged on top of another app to create an app group.
Apps within that group can then be 'hidden' on second and third screens of that app group, so that the App does not appear as a little icon in the group that is on the Home Screen.
Need further information on this?
For those who need to understand this area better - just how one would achieve this 'hiding' in groups, we have recorded a short tutorial and made it available to iTandCoffee Club members, and added it to our library of iPad and iPhone Handy Hints.
Not yet a member of our iTandCoffee Club? Find out more here »
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Do you have a document in hard-copy format, but not in digital format?
If you want to edit that document, you might think that the only way is to start from scratch - re-type the document into something like Word or Pages, and then apply your edits.
There is an easier, time-saving way to get your hard-copy document into an editable format.
In this situation, I would now use an app that I have on my iPhone, an app that can scan a hard-copy document and turn it into an editable document, including both the text and the images.
The app is called Office Lens.
It is a FREE app that is part of the Microsoft suite of apps that are available for iPad and iPhone. Your scans can be saved to OneDrive, OneNote (or any other 'cloud'), and can be opened in Word or Powerpoint for editing.
While I would always stick with my favourite app Scannable by Evernote for my day-to-day scanning using my iPhone, I now have Office Lens 'waiting in the wings' for the occasion where a need a hardcopy document turned into a Word document.
Discover more great apps and features of your iPad and iPhone
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Handy Hints (for Club members)
Have you been told by a helpful family member or friend that it is ESSENTIAL that you regularly 'close' your apps on your iPad or iPhone, to avoid draining your battery or over-using your internet data?
Every week, I see clients who, while they may know only a limited amount about their iPad or iPhone, will show me this key 'trick' that their kids or grandkids have shown them.
They show me how the kids have told them to double-press the Home button, then 'swiping up' any 'open' apps to close them - and that they MUST do this regularly.
Well, here's one you can tell those kids and grandkids!
It is NOT necessary to do this.
While it is definitely necessary to keep the number of 'open' apps under control on a computer, iPads and iPhones (and other mobile devices) are quite different in how they manage your Apps.
When an app is not in use, it goes into a 'suspended' state, and is not consuming data or battery.
Here is an article that featured online recently, about this very topic.
Instead, the kids and grandkids should be telling you to check that other more important settings, to ensure that you don't unexpected consume battery and data.
Find out what settings you CAN adjust to conserve data and battery in these past iTandCoffee articles. You will see, this topic features regularly in this blog!
While assisting a client to set up Parental Controls on her 12yo child's new iPhone this week, discussion turned to the topic of the 'Ask to Buy' setting in the Family setup of iCloud.
This setting allows a parent to remotely authorise (or not) a request from a child who is a member of their iCloud Family, to purchase/download content (even free apps).
In this particular client's case, her child was very keen to get onto the social media platforms that her friends were already on.
This mum was considering allowing her child on Instagram (as a Private account of course), so we installed it and set up the app so that it is a Private account.
She was happy that she had control over what other social media Apps her child could download, through the Ask to Buy setting.
But there is a catch to this setting that meant her child could have downloaded Apps or other content without having to ask for permission.
All parents need to be aware of this 'back door'.
How your child can bypass 'Ask to Buy'
If another member of your iCloud Family has already purchased/downloaded an app, any member of the family (even a child who normally has to Ask to Buy) can also download that same app - without the usual parent authorisation.
This means that, if you as parent have already downloaded Facebook, Instagram or any other app, your children can download the same apps without your permission. If your older teenager uses Snapchat, the younger members of the family could also download that app without your permission.
How to prevent downloads of apps purchased by others in family
You can prevent your kids from downloading apps purchased by others in the family by 'hiding' those apps in the Purchased area of the App Store. The person who purchased/downloaded the app must do this 'hiding'.
If you are a club member, you will find further instructions on how 'hide' apps here.
Preventing kids from downloading/viewing iBooks purchased/downloaded by others in family
Annoyingly, it is not possible to do the same sort of 'hiding' of iBooks just using your iPad or iPhone.
This means that, if you have a heap of trashy romantic novels in your own iBooks library, the kids can see these books in the 'Purchased' area of iBooks. They can even download them without you being 'asked to buy'.
The only way to 'hide' iBooks that you don't want others to see is using the iBooks app on a Mac, or iTunes on Windows.
See the above handy hint (for iTandCoffee Club members) for details of how to do this.
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The iTandCoffee Club is a paid subscription service that unlocks access to all sorts of handy hints, videos, guides, special offers, free sessions and more.
Find out more about The iTandCoffee Club here »
Another question raised this week in relation to travelling with technology was about whether it is possible to download Netflix content to watch 'offline' (i.e. when you don't have internet).
This question arose during a discussion about 'geo-blocking' of Netflix, ABCiView, SBS On Demand and other Australian content - which prevents you accessing these Australian services when you are not in Australia.
My client had heard of a TV series that was available on Netflix (which she subscribes to), and wanted to be able to watch it during her trip.
The good news is that, since late last year, you CAN download content from Netflix to watch 'offline'.
Here is how to do it.
Downloading Netflix content to your iPhone or iPad
How much data will I use by downloading this content, and how much space will it take?
The amount of data that you will use when downloading content - and then how much room that content uses on your device - will depend on the program.
You will use somewhere around 200MB for one hour of SD (standard definition) quality content, and about double that for HD (high definition) quality content.
For our mobile devices, SD quality is usually good enough and will ensure fastest download and require less storage space.
Find out more in the below Netflix Help article.
Will my downloads 'expire'? How long do I have to watch them
You can't keep the downloaded Netflix content forever - and the expiry of the content you download will vary. Generally, you will have 48 hours to watch once you have hit 'Play'.
You will be able to check in My Downloads to see if a downloaded program is on a countdown to expiry!
Can I 'renew' an expired download?
It is possible to 'renew' an expired download, but only by deleting it and downloading it again. You must have an internet connection to do this.
Here's how to remove it from your My Downloads
Then you will need to follow the steps above to download again.
A warning here: you may not be able to re-download all programs due to studio limits. In such a case, you would just need to wait until you have internet access (and are in the correct country) to watch it.
Want to read more about this?
Here is a good article from The Age, published in December 2016 - shortly after the 'offline' capability was introduce
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It's time to organise those student concession passes for public transport - here's an app for creating ID photos easily!
It's that time again - time to fill forms at the start of our kids' school year and, in some cases, time to organise those ID photos for things like the PT Victoria student concession MYKI's.
If you have had a passport photo done lately, you will know how expensive they are, especially if you need to get them for several members of our family.
In cases like the student concession forms, a do-it-yourself photo will suffice. The challenge is making the photo the right size, to suit the form on which it is to be stuck.
For the past 3 years, I have made use of a couple of really handy apps that make this so easy.
Here is the one that I used this year - it is called 'Passport Photo'.
If you have a favourite app for taking such photos, leave a comment below to let us know which one you prefer.
Handy Hints and Articles about Apps
Over the Christmas break, my 22yo daughter managed to fall down a pit that had a loose concrete cover, on a nature strip near our house.
As she stood on the concrete, the unsecured cover tipped and her foot and leg fell into the pit. She injured her leg quite badly and was lucky she didn't break it.
We felt that it was important to immediately report this faulty pit cover - but were not sure who would be responsible for it. Was it the council? Was it a water, electricity, telco pit?
My sister was staying with us and (clever girl) told us about an app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that is designed for reporting incidents and problems like this. It sends your report to the relevant authorities, so that it can be resolved by whoever is responsible for it.
The app is called Snap, Send, Solve.
It's worth downloading so that you have it at the ready if you need to report something awry in your neighbourhood! Next time I notice a big pothole in the road (or something like that) I'm going straight to this app.
Other iTandCoffee Articles about Apps
Nicole recently asked for assistance with an iTunes issue: "We are having trouble with our music. Any purchases we make are not showing across our phones.”
We had recently sorted out her family's 'iCloud confusion', by giving each member of the family their very own Apple ID. We then linked these Apple ID's together in iCloud as a Family (in Settings - iCloud - Family).
This allows all members of the family to share purchased content, and allows a parent to manage downloads/purchases by the children.
Similarly, in the App Store, tap Purchased at bottom right on the iPad, or Updates then Purchased (top) on iPhone.
You will see then see your Family Purchases, allowing you to look at your own purchases, and those of each member of your family. You can then download anything you don’t have.
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Each time I travel overseas, I find I discover a few new handy tips for travelling with an iPhone (or another mobile device).
During our family trip to Vietnam in June/July 2016, I utilised a different option for phone/text access to that which I had previously used. It was very easy and ended up very cheap.
I also discovered a great new feature of a popular app - one that gave a great 'photo journal' of our trip and mapped all the places we visited.
I'll be sharing these tips in the next 'Travelling with your iPad and iPhone (and other technology)' class on Friday August 5th, 11am-1pm.
For those who are interested in reading about about these tips now, I have added them to the iTandCoffee Club Clubhouse, for iTandCoffee Club Members. Here are the links to the relevant articles:
If you are interested in reading great tips like this, why not join The iTandCoffee Club today? It is only $30 per year. Find out more here.
I was very excited to read this week that the Google Translate app now has a feature that will be incredibly useful for an upcoming trip overseas.
Not only does it offer translations for even more languages, but now Google Translate can store its translation files on your device - so that there is no need for an internet connection to use the amazing translation features it offers!
But wait, there's more!
One of my favourites is that it can give you immediate translation of a sign, menu or any other written text you see, by using the 'World Lens' feature that is now part of the app. (This used to be a separate app.)
Just hold your phone up to point at the sign, press the camera symbol, and prepare to be amazed. Here are some examples, showing photos I have taken as I sit in my hotel room (on a very wet day in Sydney) writing this article, using a sign that is on my desk.
We cover more on this App (and lots of other useful information about travelling with technology) in the 'Travel with your iPad and iPhone' class that is run at iTandCoffee on a regular basis, with the next class scheduled for Fri Aug 5th, 11am-1pm.
(If you are interested in attending this class sooner than this date - or need a private appointment before you travel - contact us on 1300 885 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is enough demand, an additional class will be scheduled.)
Here is a recent article in The Age about the improved Google Translate app.
Related articles and handy hints
How to keep in touch by phone while travelling overseas
iPhone tip: How to dial an overseas number that has a '+' at the start
Apple SIM provides data for travellers in 90 countries
So many ways to keep in touch from the other side of the world using your iPad and iPhone
Some warnings about using Wi-Fi when travelling - even Hotel Wi-Fi
A really handy app for travellers
Checking your voicemail when you don't have access to your regular phone or SIM
Making sure that your contacts' names appear in the Messages and Phone apps when you travel OS
Why don't certain iPhone messages arrive until I am connected to WiFi?
I turned on my data roaming and used 11MB in a flash
For travellers: how to get SatNav on your iPhone or iPad when you don't have internet
Client Question: Why can't I send my Bigpond email when I am in Hong Kong?
How to get access to Australian content when you travel - while keeping your online world secure
Great ways of adding more storage to your iPad and iPhone - especially when you travel
Here's a handy app for when you travel - especially by train
A great accessory for travelling with your iPhone and iPad - battery charging, backup and extra storage for your i-Device
Do you have a new iPad or iPhone, and want to install the (supposedly) free Apple products for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and movie making?
Pages, Numbers, Keynote and iMovie should be available as FREE downloads on most iPads or iPhones purchased since September 2013 (assuming they are running either iOS 8 or 9).
If your device has 32GB or more of storage, you may find that these apps are already installed.
On 16GB devices, however, the apps must be downloaded from the App Store.
(This is because the apps take quite a bit of your storage space, so Apple doesn't want to take up this space unless you really need these apps.)
If you find, in the App Store, that the apps have a price of $14.99 (instead of showing 'Get' or the 'cloud' symbol), it most likely means that your device has not been registered against your Apple ID - meaning that Apple does not know the model of your Apple ID, to assess if you get the apps for free.
To rectify this, just go to https://supportprofile.apple.com/ and complete the process of registering your iPad or iPhone.
After this is done, go back to the App Store - and you should see the App's price has gone.
I decided that I wanted to update the photo that I have on my Facebook profile, as the one I had uploaded previously was not very good quality.
The photo I had on on my FB profile was a photo of a photo that is on my family room wall.
So, I re-took the photo using my very favourite apps, Scannable. Above is a resized version of the photo that Scannable took of the photo.
If you don't yet have Scannable, download it and check it out. It is the BEST app for scanning documents. I never use my printer's scanner any more - my iPhone is my very portable scanner!
But Scannable's talents are not just limited to document scanning. Try using it for all those old family snaps. It is a quick and easy way of getting all those old snaps digitised.
Just make sure to use a contrasting background, and your photos will be automatically cropped and focussed.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
If your iPad is one of the more recent models - an iPad Mini 2 or iPad Air and later models - there is a handy new iOS 9 feature called Slideover,
Slideover allows you to see more than one app on your screen at once, viewing the second app as a 'sidebar' on the right-hand side of the screen.
(Note. This is different to the new 'split screen' feature, which only works on the newest iPads.)
Slideover is handy for the situation where you want to view and perhaps use another app, but want your original app to stay on the screen.
As an example, you might be browsing Safari, hear a 'ding' and want to quickly check the email that just arrived - without having to leave the Safari screen.
Just swipe from the right-hand edge towards the left to see the Slideover sidebar. This will show the previous app that you used in slideover mode.
Once you have your 'Slideover' bar visible, you can 'drag down' that side bar from the top to see a list of other available apps - which will be only apps that can work in this 'slideover' mode. Tap a different app to view and use it - all while keeping your original screen visible in the background.
Then, to get rid of your slideover side bar and return to your main app, just slide it closed by swiping to the right.
In some apps, you will need to make sure you swipe from the centre right - as the 'swipe to left from edge of screen' function already exists for swiping between pages in certain apps..
From Slideover to Split Screen - for really new iPads only
If you do have one of the really new iPads, when you have an app visible in slideover sidebar, you may also be able to slide that app further across to the left to go into 'split screen' mode.
This only works for certain apps that have the 'split screen' capability enabled.
I must say that I missed this one when I initially looked through the set of changes and fixes that were delivered with iOS 9.1. It was only when I read the below article that I saw mention of it.
The News app has now been made available to Australian iPad and iPhone users. Have you noticed its appearance on your home screen?
If you haven't updated yet, it may be a good reason to go ahead and install iOS 9.1.
I'll leave the second article below to tell you more about the News App for iOS 9.1 users.
There is such a vast array of fantastic apps available for iPads and iPhones, but many owners of these great devices are unable to take advantage of these apps because they have not yet learned how to look for and download Apps from App Store.
At our 'Let's Go Shopping' session this coming Thursday Oct 22nd, 10am-12pm, we will be looking at this very topic: what apps are worth getting, how do you go about getting them, a look at using a couple of key apps, how to pay for apps, and much more.
We will also look at getting movies, TV shows, books, music and more.
If you are interested in joining this session, we have a few spots left. Just click on the date in the below calendar (22nd), then select Continue›› to book.
If you have visited the Apple App Store in the last day or so, you will have noticed that there has been a change to a 'paid' apps that are offered in the App Store.
Apple has applied a price increase to these apps. At the lower end, Apps are now 20¢ more expensive - increasing from $1.29 to $1.49.
Read more in the below article from The Age this week.
If, like me, you are a Mac user who loves being able to view and manage Notes on all devices (by sync'ing Notes via iCloud), here's a warning about upgrading to iOS 9 before the end of September.
Apple has added some great new features to the long-neglected Notes app - you can now draw in Notes, add checklists, indent and more.
When you upgrade to iOS 9, you will be asked if you want to upgrade your Notes app to the new version.
Here's the warning ...
If you go ahead and upgrade now, you won't be able to access your Notes on your Mac, as you will need the new El Capitan version of OS X on your Mac to be able to access these upgraded Notes.
El Capitan won't be released until the end of this month, so it is best to 'hold fire' on upgrading your Notes app until then.
You may have seen me mention previously an app that features on my first Home screen, called Card Mate.
In this app, I store images and details of all the cards that would normally ALL be in my wallet, allowing me to greatly reduce the number of cards that I carry around with me.
I have categories for Business Cards, Identity, Banking, Shopping and more - allowing me to easily find any card that I need to present or view. In most cases, shops can scan the barcode shown on the screen or, if they can't, they can still manually enter the number shown on the card.
Of course, this is not the only app that provides such capabilities.
Another that is worthwhile downloading is called StoCard - Loyalty Cards Wallet. (Thanks Katie K for suggesting this one.)
This app is the perfect app for storing all those shopping loyalty cards. It is really easy to scan all your shopping cards (or any other card that has a barcode) into the app.
Download and check it out here.
I am thinking I might now need two 'card apps' on my home screen!
For those of you with kids, this article might provide some useful tips on apps that can keep your kids entertained by one iPad when you travel.
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