Simply put, my 10-year-old son was heartbroken when he dropped and cracked his iPod Touch earlier this year. He took it rough. After all, he couldn’t play his favorite mobile games and he couldn’t listen to his music—I know, tragic for a 10-year old.
Last week I figured he had endured this pain long enough, so I took him (along with the allowance money he had saved) out to buy a new one. This time it was the iPod Touch 4, which I wasn’t familiar with. Though most of the features were the same, there was one that needed addressing: FaceTime.
If you’re not already familiar with it, FaceTime is a video-calling service that is provided on most current Apple devices: the iPod Touch 4, iPhone 4, iPad 2 and Macbook. FaceTime allows people to video chat over a WiFi network—meaning NOT over a 3G or 4G wireless network. If you have an iPhone 4, know that FaceTime takes all the contacts on your phone and automatically makes them available to you on the FaceTime application. On the iPod Touch, iPad 2 and Macbook, it uses your iTunes account as a “phone number” which you can use to make calls.
On the safety side of things, FaceTime can be disabled or enabled just like any other application when you set the restrictions on your child’s iDevice. Other than wanting to “FaceTime” his brother at college or his cousin that lives two hours away, my son doesn’t have any real need for Facetime. But if your children do, know that you have access to a FaceTime call log to see who they’ve been talking to. However, this call log can easily be cleared and there are no safeguards or settings to change that. If you’re in the same boat as me, you can follow the guide below to disable FaceTime on your child’s iDevice or Macbook.
Disabling FaceTime on the iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4 and iPad 2
- Click Settings.
- Select General, and then Restrictions.
- Click the “Enable Restrictions” button that’s at the top of the screen.
- Enter a 4 digit PIN number, preferably something that you’re child cannot guess. And then re-enter the 4 digit PIN number again to finalize it.
- Here, you’ll be able to choose which applications and settings can be turned off or on.
- Simply turn off the FaceTime application. This will make the FaceTime button disappear off the home page.
Disabling FaceTime on an iMac, Macbook, or Macbook Pro
- Open up the System Preferences utility.
- Click on the Parental Controls button.
- This will take you to the User Accounts section. Check to make sure your child’s account isn’t an administrator account; otherwise they can go in and reauthorize the FaceTime application after you have disabled it.
NOTE: I found that a Guest Account works extremely well since it still gives them all functionality they need without administrator privileges.
- Remember to click the lock icon in the bottom left corner of the window. You will need to input your password before you’re allowed to make any changes.
- Go down the list of programs and applications until you find the FaceTime application. Once you find it, uncheck it and click the lock icon again.