How sneaky kids use AirPods to ‘talk’ in class

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fake AirPods talk in class
Totally legit Apple AirPods.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When I was a kid, we communicated in class by writing notes on pieces of paper, and passing them to other kids. It was called “passing notes,” and is now probably taught in schools as an artisanal pastime, along with “going outside” and conkers. In 2020, kids use insane workarounds to avoid actual writing.

Today we’ll see how to “pass notes” using nothing but two $700 iPhones and two $160 pairs of AirPods.

Peek-a-View lets you safely limit the photos someone can see [Review]

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Peek-a-View lets you limit a photo album to be view-only.
Peek-a-View lets you limit a photo album to be view-only.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

If you’ve ever found yourself showing other people pictures on your phone, you’ve probably also been trying to micromanage what they can and can’t see. And, if you’re a parent of a young kid, it’s likely that you’ve let your child look through a photo album on your device. In that case, you’ve certainly been worried about their ability to delete or accidentally modify an image.

There are ways to limit what a person — or child — can or can’t get to on your device through the Guided Access settings in iOS. But nothing is as simple as using a new iOS app called Peek-a-View to lock down your photos.

How to stop your kids from wasting their lives on Apple Arcade

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screen time apple arcade
Say Sayonara to arguments with your kids.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

New subscription gaming service Apple Arcade is here1, and it looks like an incredible deal. For just $5 per month, everyone in your family gets unlimited access to dozens of exclusive games (with a free month-long trial to check it out). Even better for parents, there are no in-app purchases in Apple Arcade, so your kids won’t be begging you to buy more coins or whatever every five minutes.

However, they can still spend way too much time on games when they should be out playing with kilometer-zero, organic wooden toys, or pretending that old washing machine delivery box is a panic room. Thankfully, Apple’s own Screen Time feature already works with Apple Arcade, so you can restrict access to any and all games.

Tynker Junior teaches kids to code before they can read

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Tynker Junior
Your little ones can start using Tynker from as young as 4.
Photo: Tynker

The ability to code is becoming an increasingly important skill, and the sooner you start learning, the better. That’s why you should introduce your little ones to Tynker Junior, the app that teaches them the fundamentals of coding from as young as four.

Inspired by the award-winning Tynker programming language, which has been used by over 60 million kids worldwide, the new iPad app uses puzzles and games to make learning fun and easy.

How to restrict what your kids can watch on YouTube

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youtube restrictions
Some things are definitely adults-only.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Kids on YouTube are like rats at a food dispenser. Tap, tap, tap, next video please. But unlike the rats, which get “rewarded” with an electric shock or worse, kids just end up surfing the Up Next links until they end up seeing a rat getting shocked, or worse. A more pompous writer would point out here that it’s a parent’s job to monitor their child’s YouTube activity, but actual parents know this isn’t particularly realistic. So how do you stop your kids watching the wrong thing? Let’s see:

How to use age restrictions to protect your kids from adult apps and movies

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age restrictions
Children were restricted differently in the past.
Photo: Alisha Vargas/Flickr CC

The iPad and iPhone can be great learning tools for kids, just the same as they are for adults (only with more clowns and talking animals). But even if you don’t want to fully lock-down your iPad to restrict what your kids can do, you might want to stop then from downloading adult-oriented apps. That includes violent games, scary books, and dirty movies.

How to track your kids with your iPhone

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track your kids
What if you could always find your child on a map?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Using Find my Friends to track adults is creepy stalker-type behavior. But using your iPhone to track your kids is like totally cool, right? After all, no child is safe if left to their own devices. Better to let them know as soon as possible that they should let others be responsible for their wellbeing.

Luckily, iOS has a bunch of neat, easy-to-use, and (mostly) non-creepy tracking tools built in. Let’s see how to use them.

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Parental Controls
Parental Control.
Photo: Alisha Vargas/Flickr CC