Dear Aunt TUAW: Help! I bought my dad an iPad!

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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help! I bought my dad an iPad!

Dear Aunt TUAW,

I wish I had never given my Dad that iPad. When he and my Mom were going on a driving trip, I asked if he wanted 3G service. He says "Sure", so I set it up.

Now he's complaining about shelling out $30 a month to AT&T, so I'm telling him to cancel the service. Except he doesn't know what his password is and I think he's putting in the wrong email address (HE ONLY HAS TWO). And he doesn't read my emails explaining all this.

I thought about installing 1Password, but my dad would forget that the application is on the iPad (or his Mac for that matter).

Is there a way to do LogMeIn sessions to an iPad (controlling the iPad)? Without jailbreaking? Auntie needs to write an app: "Control Dad's/Mom's iPad."


Your loving nephew,


Dear Peter,

In this world, there are things you can control (what's for dinner, what to watch on Netflix, what to wear for that hot date) and things you cannot (your dad, your cat, and your dad's iPad).

This is, as you have probably already guessed, a human and not a technological problem. If you can, try calling instead of emailing. You might want to plan a trip out to visit your Dad (and fix up his iPad in person) or surrender to the knowledge that even if you call, the chances are slim that he will follow your directions or listen to your advice. There are things in life that cannot be fixed with technology.

Unfortunately, Apple does not (yet) offer any remote administration tools for iPad. Their configuration tools for on-site administration provide a way to mass-configure large groups of iPads and iPhones, but there's no Apple Remote Desktop-like tool available for iOS devices.

One of the members of Auntie's bridge club suggested using a combination of Skype, Reflector, mirroring and screen sharing to walk him through the problem, but if dear old Dad is having issues getting other things working, it's unlikely that he'd be able to get this setup without assistance.

Your options might expand with jailbreaking and VNC, but it sounds like you've ruled that out completely. Do Auntie's other nieces and nephews have advice for Peter? Jump into the comments and share your thoughts.


Auntie T.

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