These tips will be old news to many of you… but they’ve absolutely changed my life in the past month and I am mad at all of you who knew before and didn’t tell me. My whole world is different now.
1. Labelled Alarms on iPhone • So, a sweet friend taught me last summer that I could just yell to Siri to set my alarms and that has been fantastic. Siri, turn on my 6:30am alarm. Done. Fabulous. THEN, I learned I could change my alarms to SONGS to trigger specific duties. Abby is now programmed to yell, “TIME A-GET RYLIE!” when she hears the Indigo Girls’ Closer to Fine at 3:32pm on weekdays. But then I’d have a few regular alarms (set to Mumford’s I Will Wait- the intro to that song will make anyone stand at attention) and I’d have no idea for the first 30 seconds what I was supposed to be remembering or who I was supposed to be driving where. A song would just randomly start playing and if Abby didn’t yell, I was lost. Time to make this smart phone work for me.
Sure enough, you can label your alarms. SERIOUSLY. Now my alarm goes off, MY PHONE TELLS ME WHY, and I know if I’m supposed to head to the bus stop or simply sit a pray while listening to Patty. Genius.
Again, mad at all of you for not telling me.
2. Guided Access on iPhone and iPad • Here’s an official tutorial link because I can’t take screen shots of this awesomeness.
Ok, THIS ONE. Yes. Our kiddos love to look at the photos and videos on our phones (though, I am told this works on iPads as well). Within seconds, their sweet lil’ fingers have pressed the wrong button and they’ve deleted a month’s worth of photos or exited out of the game or changed the language to Swedish. Unhelpful. Also, annoying.
Guided access TURNS OFF THE HOME BUTTON and disables any other part of the screen you choose. You triple-click the home button to activate guided access on any page. To exit, you have to triple-click again and enter a password.
Katie’s tip: make sure you lock your phone to portrait orientation. That’s the button on the far right with the padlock in the center. This makes your screen stay in portrait mode even when your kids tip it on the side (like, when they want to watch a video and hold the phone like a tv screen). This keeps all of your off-limits areas actually off limits. For example: when you’re looking at photos, the trash can is in the lower right-hand corner. I’ve cropped that area out on guided access. The kids cannot delete any of my photos. BUT, if the orientation is not locked and they can turn the phone on its side, the trash can becomes available again. Lock it.
So, this has lots of applications, obviously… but the main idea here is that it keeps your kids on one screen and makes certain areas (that you choose) off limits. Love.
And there you have it. favorite features from a new-ish (one year) smart phone user.
What else have I been missing?