Apple products are in a league of their own aesthetically, functionally and especially when it comes to the price. Many parents wouldn’t dream of handing over their shiny new iPad to a three-year-old, for sticky fingers to prod and poke, however more and more are coming round to the idea…
This parent guide is designed to introduce you to Apple’s range of products by commenting on their suitability for children and value for money, whilst giving alternative options that may lack the signature style but are much easier on the pocket.
Keeping children (and your wallet) safe on Apple Products
Recently the press have picked up on a number of horror stories where little hands have managed to innocently spend hundreds of pounds on virtual donuts, smurfberries, gems etc through in-app purchases. Whether App manufacturers or the children are to blame is debateable, however you can be certain that implementing these parental controls on apple products will keep your child and your wallet safe.
Apple Mac computers for children
Apple are a premium retailer and when it comes to computers their product range represents quality over quantity. All their new machines are high spec and aimed at a professional audience, with machines ranging in price from £849 for the MacBook Air to over £1,500 for the top spec MacBook Pro and iMac computers.
What will children use it for? £1,500 Facebook (Or Roosterbank) Machine?
If your child has their beady eye on a Mac computer we recommend having a conversation with them about what they will use it for. If they are into tinkering with graphic design or are a keen photographer/video maker, the creative options a Mac offers could make it the right chioce. However, if internet, games and homework are what a child is using a computer for then a windows laptop will be more than adequet in terms of functionality, and cost hundrends of pounds less. Check out the following lists for:
As we mentioned earlier, the of handing a £400 iPad to a young child can be an expensive accident waiting to happen. Apple iPads are not built with children in mind. They are however extremely popular with youngsters due to their intuitive interface, which children learn to navigate within minutes. But be warned, although tablets are great for consuming apps and media they have limited word processing capabilities so homework will still need to be done on a main laptop or computer.
Although child tablets are on the rise with the Kurio 7S and Samsung Galaxy Kid Tab ready to make an impact this Christmas, these are aimed at children 12 and under. When a child gets to 12 they are teetering on the tech boarder of kid/adult and it’s obvious they will aspire to what the older crowd are using. Ultimately this will be one of the Amazon Kindle, Google Nexus 7 or iPad family.
Once again it can be well worth looking out for second hand tablets on Gumtree and purchasing last years iPad could save a considerable amount of money. All you have to think about is whether they want an iPad or iPad mini!
iPods and the iPod Touch
It’s pretty hard to think a family home that hasn’t had an ipod or four bobbing around. iPods are still just as popular as they have been with children, but nowadays there’s a greater expectation for a device to do more than just play music. It must either be super small like the iPod Shuffle, hold photos like the iPod Nano or do everything an iPhone does, without the phone bit, like an iPod Touch.
We’ve found that children age 8 to 12 are big fans of the iPod Touch as it lets them download their favourite apps, listen to music and take photos and videos. They are also considersbly less expensive than an iPhone with the new 5th Generation Touch starting at £165.99 and the still relevant 4th Generation Touch only £129.99 from Amazon. Check out the lists below to see latest prices and models.
Does my child need an iPhone?
This september saw the release of two new iPhones, the iPhone 5S and 5C. Both are among the most popular phones on the market with the 5S packing all the most up-to-date features, the 5C in comparison is less powerful but more fun coming in a range of colours and offering a very slightly reduced price (£469). At the end of the day no one needs an iPhone, especially if you’re under 14!
Alternatives at the high spec end of the mobile market include the Samsung Galaxy Minis or S3 (£150-£300 new, less for 2nd hand) or iPhone 5, iPhone 4 or 4S which can be picked up for between £150-£300 online. Both are pretty much as capable as the newer iPhones and regular updates will keep them at the cutting edge for atleast a couple of years to come.