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Keeping Your Kids Appy: Spring Cleaning

May 20, 2013

Having fun and educational apps is great, but it can also get overwhelming and your ipad is full and unorganized before you know it. Christine Dehne, Brooklyn-based mom, educator and multimedia artist shows us how to spring clean our ipads. 

It’s been much longer than I intended since my last post.  I was busy with a few of my creative ventures, but once those were complete, it has taken me way too long to catch up on all of life’s little everyday tasks that were pushed to the side for the duration of those projects.  One major stumbling block has been that my iPad is full.  Yes, I totally ran out of space on my 30 GB iPad2.  And I have no movies on it.  30 GB: 332 Apps, 88 photos, and 2 20-30 second animations.  That’s right, 332 Apps.  Sigh.

Over the past two months I would see a failure to sync warning every time I plugged my iPad into my laptop.  I knew what the problem was, but being so busy, I simply didn’t have time to look into fixing it.  I use my iPad to create the animations for my projects, so I was playing with fire letting it get so full.  In fact, I did have to delete a few things randomly just to have enough room to export one of my finished animations.

Time for some major spring cleaning!

So, now that I have a chance, I’m sitting down and organizing the iPad.  Here’s what I’m doing:ipad home screen apps

1. First I sit down with the iPad and organize the Apps into folders.  I try to keep the Apps in categories, to make it easy to find what I’m looking for.  I’ve created a bunch of folders of kids’ apps too, sorting them by age and type of app.

2. Next I attach my iPad to my laptop and open up iTunes.   I make sure the “Automatically install new apps” checkbox is NOT checked.  This is where my problem stemmed from.  I was downloading apps on my laptop and thinking I’d install them at a later date and check them out, but they were all getting loaded onto my iPad the next time I synced because I had left this button checked!  After unchecking that, I go through the apps and select which ones to install or remove. When I decide to remove an app, “Will Remove” appears in the button next to it, and when I press “sync” this app will no longer be on the iPad.  It will remain in my iTunes library though, so I can decide to reinstall it later if I wish.

apps list

3. The next step is to finally run all of the updates to the apps.  I’ve been unable to update because my iPad has been so full.  I’m working on this now.  It turns out I didn’t delete enough apps in step 2, so I’ve got to go back and make some hard choices.

4. Don’t ever let myself become so disorganized again.  I’m shocked that I got to this place.  I’m usually incredibly organized, especially when it comes to file management, which is why I thought this might be helpful to some of you.  If this could happen to me, it could happen to anyone.

– Christine Dehne is a Brooklyn-based multimedia artist and educator and a mother of two girls.  She strives to teach her children and her students to be happy but conscious consumers of media. You can reach her at christinedehne (at) gmail (dot) com. Christine has been busy working on Wink and Under the Tree with Spellbound Theatre.