We talk to my parents almost every day via FaceTime and have since Cub was born in 2012. When Little Miss Cub was born last summer, I announced her arrival to my mother by showing her her first granddaughter’s face thanks to the hospital’s wi-fi!
There was a delightful honeymoon period with my firstborn, in which I was allowed to hold the iPhone or iPad, point it where I wished, reverse the camera as required and allow my family to fawn over their first grandson/nephew/great grandson/great nephew in all his inactive glory. It was probably pretty boring since he was mainly asleep. (I remember he would wake up and I’d immediately call my parents, and my mom would shout, “Hurry, Michael! He’s awake!”)
But it really doesn’t take long for baby to want to take control of the screen, whether you like it or not. Now, I’m not advocating giving your six-month-old games or Netflix: I’m talking about letting your baby and toddler have virtual visits with faraway family and friends without constantly hanging up on them. Even if you are the one holding the phone, it’s likely that chubby fingers will accidentally press that red button or flip the camera to reveal piles of laundry or dishes! I used to put Cub in his play pen to hang out with his uncle while I took a shower!
I think Cub was probably two when I stopped locking the screen during FaceTime. Now that Little Miss is at the grab-the-phone phase, I noticed that the phone-locking functionality on my iPhone and iPad had changed a bit, so figured I’d update my very popular “How-to” post!
How to Activate Guided Access
1- Go to your Settings menu and select General:
2- Go to Accessibility:
3- Scroll to the very bottom of the screen, select Guided Access:
4- Turn on Guided Access and Accessibility Shortcut:
5- Set up a passcode (or Touch ID) for Guided Access (I made my passcode the same as my regular unlock passcode):
How to Turn on Guided Access during FaceTime
Once you’ve got Grandma on the line, triple click the home button, which starts up Guided Access. On my iPhone 6+, you can access all the Accessibility features by tapping Options at the bottom left of the screen. On my iPad, these options are displayed at the bottom of the screen. If your device immediately launches Guided Access without letting you select your options, triple click the home button again, enter your passcode, and you’ll have access to the options.
You can disable all the functions you’d like! The Home Button is automatically disabled. When your child presses it, they simply get the message “Guided Access Enabled.” For FaceTime, you likely want to completely disable Touch, Volume, Motion and the Sleep/Wake Button. Touch is disabled when you swipe the button to the left (so it’s not green anymore.)
More useful for playing games, you can also disable portions of the screen by leaving Touch enabled and circling the parts of the screen you don’t want your child to use, such as the exit button or the link to purchase game add-ons! (If you want to still control the camera direction, but disable the mute and end-call buttons, you can do it this way!)
Press Start to begin using Guided Access, and let baby chat away:
When you’re ready to hang up, triple click the home button again and enter your passcode (or use your Touch ID) to unlock the screen and end Guided Access.
Who are your children’s favourite folks to FaceTime with?