Battling with the kids over control or use of a tablet can be a daily issue for some parents, with so much play potential making it impossible to drag them away at times.
Amazon though think they have a solution in the form of the Fire HD Kids Edition – a tablet the firm has created specifically for children. Under the hood is the firm’s Fire HD 6 tablet, but everything else about it has been catered for children.
It goes on-sale in the UK today starting at £119, and includes a two-year worry-free guarantee that means if anything happens to it, it can be traded in for free and replaced. “Despite best intentions, kids break things,” says the firm, which has also given the tablet a robust coloured case to help further protect it from harm.
Also coming as part of the Kids Edition is a year of Fire for Kids Unlimited, a special child-themed version of the Amazon Store that’s full of books, videos, apps and games and can be accessed for no additional cost. To offset access to all this content, Amazon has uniquely ring-fenced the Kids Edition so that it operates within its own ecosystem, free of universal web access and potential harmful or sensitive content.
The parental setting controls are impressive. Parents have the power to control not only the apps kids can gain access to, but also control the amount of time children can use it. This can be set to a rigid time each night – with parents able to set a time the device powers off and removing the “just 10 more minutes” catchphrase from children’s vocabularies come bedtime.
Alternatively, access can be based on time – for example limiting a younger user to one hour of games a day – or done by a reward scheme, with an hour of reading or educational content able to unlock entertainment features. The idea is that parents can set up the device, creating a ring fence they’re happy with, before handing over the tablet to children.
It’s a big statement from the e-commerce firm, but a timely move given that just last week, new Ofcom research found that more than 70% of children aged between five and 15 in the UK had access to a tablet by the end of last year.
Given a greater sense of control than is traditionally available on tablets, more parents may be tempted to shift attention from their own tablet by getting their youngsters their own.