The new Kindle Fire HD has broken the mold by being the only tablet to finally offer parental controls over what their kids access. While parents go to great lengths to control their child’s TV and PC usage, the tablets have managed to slip by the radar, allowing children unhindered access to the very same things that parents have kept them from on other devices. And at only $199, this kid-friendly tablet has quite an attractive pricetag.
The new Kindle Fire HD will allow parents to set limits on how long their children can spend on specific media, such as streaming video and gaming, while allowing them access to unlimited reading. This step is applauded by many parents who want to encourage more reading on their kid’s part, and also allow them media time without having to constantly watch over their shoulders.
The new service for parental control is called Kindle FreeTime, and allows parents to create a specific profile for each child. Within the created profile, parents can choose which books, games, apps and videos they will allow their kids to access. They can restrict specific categories, such as games and video, and still allow unlimited time for other activities, like reading. They can even set an option to allow kids to access certain features, but only for certain amounts of time. The profiles can be personalized with background colors and fonts, and the kids will only see book titles that they are allowed to access. No word yet on exactly how parents control the parental controls, but we are hoping it’s via password protection.
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In addition to parental controls, the new Kind Fire HD has kicked up other features, making this year’s Kindle much more attractive than last year’s. In fact, many are saying that, while it is not yet a direct competition with Apple’s iPad, it is coming much closer. The iPad still dominates when it comes to things like their superior screen resolution, but the Kindle Fire HD is still rolling out some exciting upgrades.
Unlike last year’s model, the speakers are on both sides of the device, so users can now watch movies without headphones in Dolby Digital Plus stereo. The Kindle Fire HD, like the upgraded Kindle Fire, comes in a 7-inch model, and a larger 8.9-inch screen version. This larger version will be around $299 and comes with a 1920 x 1200 pixel screen.
The big draw for parents, in addition to the new parental controls, is the Kindle Owners Lending Library, which will allow Amazon Prime members to borrow books, including the entire Harry Potter series, for free (aside from the Prime membership costs). While the iPad is the tablet often requested by the kids, the reading-focused Kindle has been more attractive to parents. The Kindle Fire HD is proving that it may just be the happy medium. And being half the cost of the iPad helps, too.
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