iPad Setup – Step 1: Protect the outside

You are about to let your child start using your iPad or you’ve purchased one for them. Before you hand it over there are a few security settings and other things you want to consider.

Step 1: Protect the outside

Get a case. Don’t put it off. Don’t just use it for a few days until you get one. Before you hand it over – get a case.

What do you need? Well, that depends on the user.

Do they occasionally drop things, hit things, tap things… things such as books, or other pieces of technology?

If not, then what you get is up to you. The Apple Smart cover easily makes a stand but doesn’t cover the back from scratches. There are many other covers that can act as stand and protect the back. As for the screen, my personal preference is a Moshi screen cover to reduce scratches but more importantly the glare and finger print smudging. It’s totally bubble free and it is washable and reusable!

If the user is prone to dropping things then order yourself a good case. More expensive is not necessarily better. After testing handfuls of cases, our favourite three in this category are the GumDrop, Kraken, and Survivor. All three have a built in screen cover which stop crumbs from building up along the edge. Only the Survivor has a stand but the big plus it is rain resistant as all the ports are covered.  The plastic screen may eventually get scratched making it hard to see, but I’d rather replace a $50-70 case than an iPad. Otterbox is well known brand. The newest model is a good secure case. I used the warranty option to replace the previous model I had for my iPad 2. It runs a bout $10 more but has a very secure cover that doubles as a great stand.The new LifeProof, which is the most expensive option at $150, is waterproof but the screen is exposed. It a great option for a more mature user who loves the retina screen, but needs to take it out in the rain or by the pool.

Do you want to prevent the user from pressing the home button? (Note: with the new features in Guided Access there are other ways to prevent using the home button) If you don’t mind having chew beads on your handle then the Fisher Price cover might be an option. It requires you to open the back of the cover with a coin, which would be irritating for your typical user, but it’s just what some people (including me) are looking for! It has the same features of the above protective cases with an added  clear bar that covers the home button and  can help button pressers enjoy and learn with the app we set up. Plus it’s only $30 (available online only).

And while we are protecting the outside, don’t forget about a warranty if you are purchasing a new iPad. I suggest getting the Apple Care. It’s not just a warranty – they’ll help you with any software issues for a full two years. When there is an upgrade to the operating system, or if your iPad is crashing, you’ll thank me for this! Also if you crack your screen (which may not be covered by warranty) then being able to get another iPad at half price seems like a pretty good deal for the $79 Apple Care Protection Plan. If you are counting pennies, know that you can purchase this anytime in the first year.

As always, if you have any questions please send us an email or post a comment. If there’s a case out there that you are looking at and want to know if it’s a good one for you – just ask!

Now that you’ve got the outside covered, you’re ready for step 2

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