Apple launches revamped App Store category just for kids

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The trouble with the App Store isn't anything to do with the quality of apps; it's how many of the good ones tend to get buried.
Apple's new App Store sections gives kids somewhere to play.

The reason for the season: affordable tech gifts for kids

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This little iGuy from Speck will keep your kid's expensive gift a lot safer. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
This little iGuy case from Speck will keep your kid's expensive gift a lot safer. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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Kids everywhere are looking to Santa to bring them the hottest tech toys around, including iPhones, iPads, Nintendo 3DSes and Sony PlayStations, but these types of gifts can certainly strain a lowly elf’s meager paycheck.

If you’re looking for engaging and interesting gifts that won’t burst Santa’s money sack, take a look at the list we’ve put together for you below. It’s full of fun stuff that won’t leave you unable to afford a plate of cookies for that big red jolly fellow.

Kids love iPads more than Oreos, Disney and YouTube

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Photo: Oreo Cookies
Photo: Oreo

It’s official: kids love the iPad more than they do Oreo cookies. According to the “2014 Young Love” study — an annual survey carried out by leading youth and family research firm Smarty Pants — the iPad beat out 255 other brands (including Disney, Nickelodeon, Toys”R”Us, McDonald’s and YouTube) to be named the #1 brand among children aged 6-12.

The survey was conducted among a representative sample of U.S. households, with a total of 256 consumer brands evaluated as part of a three-month study of 6,661 children and their parents. Scores were based on a composite scale of 0-1,000 based on brand awareness, love, and popularity.

The top ten brands can be seen below:

iPad Play May Damage Infants’ Ability To Use Building Blocks

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baby-with-ipad

iOS devices might be ruining your child’s ability to play with building blocks, according to a recent report.

Members of the UK’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers claim that addiction to iPad and iPhones mean that children aged between 3 and 4 have no problem swiping a screen, but have difficulty understanding real space, and possess “little or no” dexterity in their fingers.

“I have spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like, or the pupils who cannot socialize with other pupils but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone,” says teacher Colin Kinner.

Apple Adds Kids Section To App Store

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Hopefully
Hopefully "Sprinkle Junior" is name, not an instruction.

Kids: Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re here to stay (unless they stop being born in some kind of Children of Men nightmare world). And one of the things we love and hate most about kids is that they are drawn to our iDevices like a hooker is drawn to dangerous situations.

Now, these monsters get their own section in the app store, which means that you should probably consider visiting the Restrictions section in your iPhone’s settings and switching off the store.

Big Fish’s Fetch – A Boy And His Dog Is Kid APProved [Video]

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Fetch - A Boy and his Dog

KidAPProvedbanner

There are a huge amount of video games out on iOS for kids, from educational games to adventure games and more. Sure, you can get reviews of these games by adults, sometimes even from parents of kids who use them.

We thought it’d be fun, though, to ask the kids themselves.

Welcome to Kid APProved, a series of videos in which we ask our own children what they think of video games on the App Store that they’re playing.

This week, it’s Big Fish’s brilliant adventure/platforming game, Fetch – A Boy and his Dog.

Manage Parental Controls For Your Kids’ Mac Remotely [OS X Tips]

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Remote Parental Controls

Parental controls are a wonderful thing, letting you filter internet content, restrict your kids to certain apps, and even keep them from accessing the Mac during times they should be sleeping or doing homework.

Did you know, then, that you can manage the Parental Controls in OS X from another Mac on your network? This means that you can make changes and add or remove restrictions on the fly from your own Mac, rather than having to brave the bedroom of, say, a grumpy and smelly pre-teen daughter who might not be overjoyed to see you messing about on “her” computer. I mean, hypothetically.

Here’s how to set up your child’s Mac to be able to do this.

Help Your Kids Manage And Block Tracking And Targeted Ads On Their iOS Devices With Disconnect Kids

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DIsconnect Kids

I have to admit, I’m less than wary of all the tracking that goes on with the iOS devices my kids have access to. Now that they both have at least an iPod touch and access to my iPads, I’m feeling a bit on the worried side about them sharing any of their web or app activity.

Luckily, there’s an app called Disconnect Kids that installs on any iOS device and then helps kids (and their parents) understand what this tracking stuff is, and how to block it. It then helps those very same kids and parents do just that.

SafeGrip Case Kidproofs The iPad Mini

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If there’s one thing I hate more than kids, it’s the thought of their filthy hands touching my pristine gadgets. Worse, these walking fetuses have brains so undeveloped that they will drop something the second they stop thinking about it.

For me, the solution is easy—just avoid the little monsters. But parents aren’t so lucky (although you could argue that they brought it upon themselves), and need a little help. And today that help comes in the form of Kensington’s “SafeGrip™ Rugged Case & Stand for iPad® mini.”