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I have ordered an iPad 2. I was wondering if I could protect applications that I don't want my 7-year old to muck about in.

It's stuff like Mail, Things, Evernote, and perhaps some games not suited for a small child.

I'm OK with paying for it if there are good third party solutions but it should be able to protect any app.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can't generally password protect specific apps without some jailbreaking I assume, but you can restrict certain things, a few of which I recommend if you are giving it to a young one. Describes the restrictions process, and it lists

You can choose to restrict access to the following applications and features on the device:

Safari, YouTube, iTunes, Ping, App installation, App deletion, Camera, FaceTime, Location, Account changes, Multiplayer games in Game Center, Adding friends in Game Center.

In addition, you can choose to prevent access to specific content types: In-app purchases, Music and podcasts, Movies, TV shows, Apps.

You can also set iTunes restrictions for content via, but again, this isn't device specific at the time, it is when you are buying or downloading content from the internet.

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There aren't any kind of app that does that, because it would interfere with Apples Terms.

You can't even lock the iPad to a specific app once it's opened.. The best thing you can do is get your hands on a casing without a hole for the home button, so your child can't get out of the app you let him/her in to.

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On a jailbroken iPad on iOS 5, Applocker can lock any app so that it requires a password to open it - one review of Applocker and another. It costs $1 via the Cydia Store.

If you want to lock a specific app open (so that kids can play with it but can't close it), IncarcerApp is a free tweak also for jailbroken iOS devices - a review of it, and a list of features.

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