Expect the new features to rollout in the next couple of weeks before the holidays. Also, note the mention of ebook access via local libraries coming to the FreeTime service in the “coming months.”
We’re assuming this is simply a way for parents/guardians to easily make ebook content (via a local library and OverDrive) available via FreeTime. Smart.
Amazon today announced a new version of Kindle FreeTime on Kindle Fire tablets that brings new educational features built from the ground up for parents and kids.
With new Educational Goals, parents can now set additional goals for their kids—for example, a parent can set a goal to read 30 minutes every day in FreeTime. Parents of younger children who can’t yet read can set goals to use educational apps such as My First Words: Spanish, Elmo Loves 123’s, or BrainPOP Jr. for a certain amount of time each day.
Additionally, parents can now choose to make sure their kids have reached their educational goals before they can watch cartoons or play games. Simply tap on Learn First, and all non-educational content is removed from the child’s FreeTime library until they have met their daily reading or educational goals. Everything in FreeTime Unlimited—plus the top 10,000 most popular kids’ books, videos, and apps on Amazon—has been categorized as education or entertainment, so when a parent sets goals for Learn First, the work of identifying which content is educational vs. entertainment has already been done for them.
- Bedtime: No more cartoons in the middle of the night—set a Bedtime so FreeTime only works the time of day you choose—for example, between 8 am and 8 pm.
- Weekend and Weekday Time Limits: All days of the week aren’t created equal—configure educational goals and screen time limits differently for weekends and weekdays.
In the coming months, parents will be able to borrow a Kindle book from a participating public library, and make it available to their kids in FreeTime. Additionally, Prime members with access to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library will be able to add their borrowed books to FreeTime.
Amazon is adding thousands of educational books, apps, games, and videos to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, the optional extension to Kindle FreeTime that brings together all the content kids and parents love into one simple, unlimited subscription for kids ages 3-8.
KindleFree Time Unlimited launched in July. This service costs between $2.99-$9.99 and provides unlimited access to thousands of books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows for children (ages 3-8). Plus, all apps available via this service have had ads and in-app purchase functionality removed.