Trust me, this is a story your kids don’t want you to see
Up until now, people who want to hide apps or photos, or videos on their smartphones could turn to hidden locker apps available in the app stores. With the new iOS 14, people, particularly young people are learning they can hide apps or at least disguise them so no one will suspect anything.
There are how-to videos all across the social media networks kids use these days such as Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube. The steps are fairly easy (if you have the least bit of smartphone smarts and a few minutes of following directions). Here’s how people are hiding apps they don’t want their parents to see:
- Open Apple’s Shortcuts app
- Click the plus sign
- The page will say “New Shortcut”, tap “Add Action”
- Tap Scripting
- Then, “Open App” and on the next screen tap “choose”
- Select the app on your phone that you would like to hide
- Then tap next
- Here you can give the app a different name. For example if I want to disguise the TikTok app, I could give it the shortcut name “Music”
- Next, tap the icon on the left side of the name you’re giving it
- You’ll have options to choose color and Glyph which is basically another name for icons
- Choose one of those Glyphs and you can change the color
- For my “music” app I chose the play button and turned it to a red color
- Tap done
- You’ll be taken to a shortcut screen where you’ll see your newly created icon
- tap it, then the share button at the bottom of the screen
- Then choose “add to home screen”.
- Now, when you tap that icon on your screen it will open the TikTok app
- To take the next step in hiding the TikTok app from the home screen, find the original app icon
- Hold down on it until you see the apps wiggling, you may have to select “edit home screen”
- Then slide the app to another screen. You can add other apps here you’d like to hide
- While the apps are still wiggling, tap the dots at the bottom of the screen
- You’ll see all of the pages of apps to display. Uncheck the screen with the TikTok app
- It will now be hidden from your smartphone. To open the TikTok app, you’ll just tap your newly created “Music” shortcut
Parents, to see what apps are on your child’s phone, Swipe left until you get to the App Library. You’ll be able to see every app that’s on the phone by tapping “Search Library”
The Apps will be displayed in alphabetical order.
It might seem too difficult to go to all that trouble to hide an app but it’s fairly easy if you don’t mind taking a few minutes and follow the steps above.
“Shortcuts” is more powerful in iOS 15. You can even set it to open any app by saying a phrase after “hey Siri”.