Thursday, March 28, 2013

Olly, A Kid Friendly Browser

The default web browser built into the iPad by Apple is Safari. While this is a highly effective browser, many parents wish to be able to have more control over the features of Safari than Apple currently allows. The Olly browser is an alternative to Safari that provides parents with additional control over blocking websites and viewing Internet history. (read all the way to the end to find out how you can also protect your children when browsing the internet on your computers at home)

(from the iTunes store) Olly is the best browser in the world for protecting kids from harmful content. It blocks over 660 million pages of sexually explicit content. Thousands added every hour. Designed especially for families and schools.

"There is finally a way to let kids access the web on an iPad without having access to adult content" - Forbes


Protects kids from over 32 billion URLs of sexually  
    explicit content
Safe Browsing is easy to turn ON/OFF
It doesn’t block innocent websites! Less than 0.3% error 
You can block widely used social networks and video 
    sharing sites with one-touch buttons
Add additional websites of your choice to Safe Browsing 
    block list
Thousands of new pages added every hour. Software 
    update not required.
Monitor your kids' search history while protecting your 
    own with a pincode

"Olly seems to be as fast (or, in some instances, faster) than both Chrome and Safari, which was a pleasant surprise. If I had children or simply wanted to have control over what someone using my iPad chooses to view on its formerly-innocent screen, Olly would likely be my first choice."

"Olly is very easy to download, install and use. Parents assign themselves a four digit numeric passcode that enables them to not only turn Olly’s safe browsing mode on or off, but to add additional sites to the filter list including Badoo, BlogSpot, Digg, FaceBook and Twitter. By default these sites are not blocked, which is smart, since there are plenty of good reasons why kids should have access to social networking sites." -Forbes

"Because Apple makes it possible to disable Safari, it's possible to make Olly the only available browser. Parents can always turn Safari back on when they're using the iPad, but after using Olly for a while, I think it makes more sense for parents to simply use Olly with safe browsing turned off." -Mercury News

Regular features included

Olly is a fully loaded browser. It only blocks adult content
    when Safe Browsing is enabled
Unlimited tabbing just like Chrome
Twitter sharing integration
Facebook sharing integration
Integrated search and URL bar for simplicity
URL history (protected by your passcode)
Copy and paste

TO DISABLE SAFARI – Go to iPad Settings > General > Restrictions > Disable Safari

We add thousands of new pages to our cloud-based classification system every hour but you don’t need to install any updates. You don’t even need to restart the browser for it to block new sites when Safe Browsing is enabled. 

Olly is brought to you by MetaCert, the company that helped to instigate the creation of POWDER, the new industry standard for labeling content for online family safety, formally replacing PICS as a W3C Recommendation.

MetaCert also has software or extensions for your desktop browsers at home, if you use Firefox or Chrome they offer a free download that allows you to have more control over what your children are looking at on the Internet. (click on the links to go straight to the option for your browser)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

iPad App to Prepare for Flying

There are many apps out there to help parents ease the fears of the first trip to the Dentist or Doctor. This app helps you prepare your child for a trip on an airplane. Airplanes can be very exciting but also very scary. This app goes from packing your suitcase, going through security, boarding the plane, and getting off at your destination. Its very good for little kids and lots of interaction opportunities are available. This app has 4 and 5 star ratings on various sites that I frequent. At this point it is only available for iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch. I have not seen an Android version yet.
Description from the iTunes Store:  $2.99  (There is a lite/free version as well)

 (app icon)

Familiarize your child with the experience of taking a flight and make them an active participant in the travel adventure. Build anticipation, reduce your child's anxiety, or let them share your trip even if they stay home.

Your child will learn:
* The steps involved in taking a flight, e.g. packing a suitcase, going through security, boarding the plane etc.
* Names of key destinations around the world and a taste of the view and culture
* The location of key destinations on the world map
* Preparing for different weather conditions in their travel destination

Activities include:
* Packing a suitcase
* Driving to the airport
* Going through security
* Boarding the plane - storing luggage and finding a seat
* Fastening seat belt and the takeoff process
* Claiming checked luggage
* Drawing and sending a postcard representing each destination
* Collecting mementos from each destination