If you are planner, you probably have already started holiday gift shopping. It hit me when I posted Toca Hair Salon Christmas – I could start looking for deals on apps my son likes, and put them on a iPod we don’t use anymore. It would be a good holiday gift.
If you like the idea, but have no extra device to spare, you can still buy some good apps and then “hide” them. Below we introduce 3 levels of hiding, from the easiest to the hardest. You can decide which one you want to use, based on your child’s tech savvy level.
1. Download the app on a device your child doesn’t use. If he/she uses the iPAD, then download it on your iPhone. This works for families have strict rules. But if you are like me, the child can use my or my husband’s phone, and he knows the passwords, then this trick won’t work. You have to try the next one.
2. After you download the app and check to make sure the app works fine, you delete the app. Don’t worry, you still own the app even it is not on your device. All you have to do is to re-download the app the night before you are ready to give the gift. There is no charge on re-downloads. Here is the detailed instruction on how to do it.
This trick will work for most kids, especially kids 10 and younger. However, if you have a very tech savvy child, who checks the “purchased apps” regularly, you want to use the next trick.
3. After you download the app, go to App Store and tap Purchased at the bottom of the screen. You will see a list of apps you bought. Find the app you want to hide, swipe left or right on the cloud icon next to the app name. The cloud icon will change into a red Hide button. Tap the Hide button. Now no one is able to find the app, not even on the purchased list.
With iOS 7 and 8, to unhide the app, you have to go to iTunes on your computer.
In iTunes, from the Quick Links section in the lower-right corner, click Account. If you are not logged in, you will be asked to log in here.
After signing into your account, scroll down a little, you will see the section iTunes in the Cloud. If you have hidden apps, you will see Hidden Purchases. Click on Manage on the right.
You will see a screen showing your hidden items. Click on Apps from the top manu and you can then unhide any app listed by clicking the gray Unhide button beneath it.
Hope this helps. These tricks are also helpful if you have some apps you don’t want your child see, such as apps with kids inappropriate contents or confidential information.
If you like this guide, You will also like another tip for busy parents: How to Set up a iTunes account without a credit card.