I just saw today that Amazon is releasing an update to their Kindle Fire line that adds a feature called FreeTime. It seems that Amazon was listening to the concerns and complaints of parents everywhere. When children use a table there is always the concern that they’ll change the settings, install apps or be playing games when they should be reading.
Starting in November, Amazon is introducing a service called FreeTime, built from the ground up to help give parents peace of mind when it comes to tablet use. Parents can create a profile for each of their children and choose what books, apps, games and videos they want to give their kids access to. Kindle FreeTime is free on every Kindle Fire.
Amazon’s site says this about FreeTime:
Set Screen Limits
Many parents choose to limit their kids’ screen time, but doing so without the proper tools is difficult. With Kindle FreeTime, parents can set daily limits for Kindle Fire use, or restrict certain categories – like games and video – while leaving unlimited time for reading.
…And Perfect for Kids
When kids use Kindle FreeTime, it’s like they have their very own, personalized tablet. The background color and fonts change to a kid-friendly design. They only see the titles that they have access to see. The home screen carousel shows their recently viewed titles. And, they can even navigate visually to content based on characters or topics – for example “Cinderella,” “Dinosaurs,” or “Puppies.”
Kindle Fire is designed to stand up to accidental bumps and scrapes. Our state-of-the art display is 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, so you can let your child play, without worry.
That all sounds great! I hope it lives up to the promise, because these features really set the Kindle far above the iPad for young children. Now that the Kindle Fire HD has been released, the price of the regular Kindle Fire has been reduced to $159. Which is a fair bit less than a new iPad and will offer parental controls far and above what the iPad does. This Christmas may be the year of the Kindle for toddlers everywhere.