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Guide to iPhone and iPad settings: how to use all the iOS Settings UPDATED

Cliff Joseph | Aug. 20, 2015
Like System Preferences on a Mac , Settings on your iPhone or iPad offers access to tools for adjusting screen brightness, setting up a password, configuring your WiFi, and more. But in addition you will also find options for handling phone calls and mobile broadband, as well as many additional security features that protect your personal files, photos and other information.

The second option, labeled Specific Websites Only, is the safest bet for young children as it blocks all web sites apart from a few kid-friendly sites that have been approved by Apple - such as Disney and Apple's own web site. If you need to override these restrictions at any time you can still type a web address into Safari and then tell it to allow that web site by entering your password.

Purchasing settings on iPad and iPhone

We've already looked at the various options that allow you to restrict in-app purchases, or to completely block all types of purchases from the iBooks and iTunes Stores altogether. But, rather oddly, there's another purchasing option that Apple adds in here, even though it's completely separated from all the other purchasing controls in the Restrictions list.

The Require Password option determines whether or not you need to use a password when making purchases on your iPhone or iPad. If you select 'Immediately' then you'll need to enter your password for every single purchase or download. The 15 minutes option gives you a slight breathing space, so you can enter your password for one purchase, and you can then purchase additional apps, music or video for the next 15 minutes without having to enter your password again. There's an important safeguard here, though, as you or your kids will still need to enter the password in order to make any in-app purchases even within 15 minutes of initially buying an app.

Privacy settings and Location Services on the iPhone

The next important section within Restrictions is the Privacy controls. There's a long list of options here, which might look a bit daunting, but most of these options work in essentially the same way so we don't need to overload you with too much information all at once.

At the top of the Privacy list is Location Services, which uses a combination of GPS, wifi and Bluetooth features to determine your location. If you're really worried about Big Brother tracking your movements then you can simply switch off Location Services altogether. The only exception here is that - in an emergency - using Find My iPhone will reactivate location services so that you can actually find your lost iPhone or iPad.

Sharing your location on the iPhone

Right below the main On/Off button for Location Services is a feature labeled Share My Location. This gives you two options for telling people your location when you contact them using Messages or Find My Friends. If you select Send My Current Location when sending a message you will just send a one-off message telling them your location at that precise minute. Alternatively, Share My Location will allow the message recipient to follow your movements for just one hour, until the end of the day, or to keep following you indefinitely. That's obviously handy if you want to keep an eye on your kids, or you're waiting for friends or family to arrive somewhere.


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