Amazon Kindle Fire HD gets unlimited kids' content
Kindle FreeTime Unlimited available on Kindle Fire and Fire HD tablets for a small monthly fee
Designed for parents who want to give their kids suitable content without having to watch over them every second, the system pulls together a range of Amazon-exclusive apps and games and makes them available on the company's tablets. To protect parents' bank balances, the FreeTime service removes any in-app payment capabilities, adverts and links to social media services - giving kids access to the content without the risk that they'll wander outside the walled garden Amazon has created or run up a bill.
"As a parent it’s hard to predict what my daughter is going to enjoy, or which movie she’s going to watch 50 times in a row — so I buy a range of content and hope for the best — but I get it wrong frequently," Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon's Kindle division, said of the announcement. "FreeTime Unlimited gives kids the freedom to explore age-appropriate content on their own and pick for themselves what they want to watch, play or read next."
The service has signed up content from Andrews McMeel Publishing, Chronicle Books, DC Comics, Disney, HIT Entertainment, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Marvel, Nickelodeon, PBS, Reading Rainbow, Sesame Workshop and others, providing unlimited access to selected content for a single monthly price. Although details of UK pricing have yet to be disclosed, the company is launching FreeTime Unlimited in the US at a price of $6.99 a month, or $2.99 a month per child for smaller families, if you subscribe to the company's Prime delivery service (around £4.34 and £1.86 a month respectively, excluding taxes.) Those who do not have Prime membership will pay $9.99 per month or $4.99 per child per month (around £6.20 and £3.10 respectively, excluding taxes.)
The service comes as Amazon faces stiff competition in the 7in tablet space from Google's popular Nexus 7 family, and Apple's iPad Mini continues to sell well despite a far higher price than rival devices.