Amazon FreeTime is, arms down, probably the most refined and easy-to-use parental management instrument out there for tablets. Right here’s how to set it up, entry the huge FreeTime Limitless media library, and set cut-off dates on your youngsters.
What Is FreeTime?
FreeTime is Amazon’s model of parental controls. It comes on Amazon’s Fire Tablets, but it surely’s additionally out there within the Google Play Retailer for just about any Android cellphone or pill, too. We’ll cowl how to arrange every down under.
Not like different parental controls, comparable to these out there on the iPad, FreeTime isn’t nearly locking a child into one app, locking them out of different apps, or holding them from accessing the gadget’s management panel. FreeTime outright reskins the gadget and turns it into a utterly self-contained and kid-friendly pill with an easy-to-use interface, a completely separate app record only for the kid, and particular person profiles so every baby in your family can have their very own age-appropriate dashboard: the toddler can have toddler pleasant video games and read-aloud apps and the middle-schooler can have extra superior video games and their very own media library, for instance.
Additional, with the addition of the very cheap FreeTime Limitless ($2.99 a month for one baby, or $6.99 for a entire household with an Amazon Prime account), you acquire entry to a large library of hand-curated motion pictures, tv reveals, and books which can be continually up to date and require no additional effort from the dad and mom to keep or curate.
How to Set Up FreeTime on a Non-Fire Android Device
Since FreeTime is baked into the system on Amazon’s Fire Tablets, there’s no set up required—you simply leap in and get began organising profiles. That’s not true of different Android gadgets, as you could have to run by a semi-lengthy setup course of to get the identical impact. Right here’s what to do. (When you have a Fire Tablet, skip to the subsequent part of this text.)
First, head to the Google Play Retailer and set up the FreeTime app on the Android gadget in query. As soon as put in, go forward and launch FreeTime, then check in to your Amazon account.
You’ll want to first grant a bunch of permissions, beginning with limiting in-app purchases in Google Play. Fortuitously, the FreeTime app will stroll you thru all the setup course of. Faucet the “Open Google Play Retailer” button, then comply with the directions on the next web page.
In order for you to allow Amazon’s customized kid-friendly internet browser in FreeTime mode, then you definately’ll do this subsequent. Faucet the “Allow Browser” button to make it occur, then choose which profiles you’d like to allow it on (if you have already got one arrange, that’s).
Lastly, choose “OK” on the Good Filters web page.
How to Get Began with FreeTime Profiles (on Fire and Android Tablets)
Whereas FreeTime used to be an app that ran on Fire Tablets, it’s now an integral a part of the system itself—constructed into the Profiles & Household Library settings. To search out it on a Fire Tablet, leap into the Settings menu by knocking down the notification shade, then tapping the cog icon. From there, faucet on the Profiles & Household Library choice.
On different Android gadgets, simply launch the FreeTime app.
When you’ve beforehand arrange completely different profiles (as I’ve within the under screenshot), they’ll present up right here. If not, let’s get began by including a new one.
Subsequent, create a profile for every baby by tapping the “Add a baby’ button. Enter the kid’s identify a birthday, then select a “theme,” which is outlined by the kid’s age. Faucet the “Add Profile” button once you’re performed.
On Android gadgets, the primary time you launch your new FreeTime Profile, you’ll have to do a bit of further arrange. Once more, simply comply with the on-screen prompts right here.
You’ll begin with permitting utilization monitoring for the FreeTime software, setting it because the default launcher, and setting your parental PIN. Faucet the “OK, let’s do it” button to get began with this portion of the setup course of.
First, permit utilization monitoring. Learn the directions right here, then faucet the “OK, let’s do it” button once more. This may take you into the Utilization Entry menu—simply allow the characteristic for Amazon FreeTime. This principally permits FreeTime to monitor utilization in different apps, which is principally a should for the appliance to do what it does. As soon as enabled, faucet the again button.
Subsequent, you’ll set FreeTime as your default launcher. Faucet the “OK, let’s do it” button once more, then select “All the time” beneath the Use Amazon FreeTime as Residence choice.
Lastly, set your FreeTime passcode. As soon as that’s performed, you’ll be take into the kid profile instantly.
From this level ahead, the setup course of is similar on Fire Tablets and different Android gadgets.
After you’ve created the brand new profile, you’ll add content material. You possibly can select from principally every little thing in your Amazon content material library, however the first tab has all the child pleasant stuff pre-selected in a single place. Decide and select at your leisure, or simply faucet the “Add all youngsters’ titles” buttons to let Amazon do the laborious half for you. Faucet “Performed” once you’re completed.
This may throw you again to the Profiles web page. That is the default view you’ll at all times see when launching FreeTime on Android or the Profiles choice in Settings on Fire Tablets. To switch settings for a specific baby, faucet on their identify (or, on Android, faucet the cog icon).
There are a slew of choices right here, together with Each day Targets and Time Limits, Content material Administration, FreeTime Limitless settings (extra on that under) and profile modifying features. These choices will differ barely relying on what kind of gadget you’re utilizing—Android gadget or Fire Tablet, cellphone or pill, and so forth.—however for probably the most half the meat and potatoes of what FreeTime affords is identical.
How to Customise FreeTime Profiles
We’re going to begin with a very powerful instruments present in FreeTime: Each day Targets & Time Limits. Go forward and faucet the “Set Each day Targets & Time Limits” choice, then hit the toggle to allow these options.
Alright! Right here you could have a few choices. You’ll begin with setting the kid’s bedtime, which can principally disable use of the pill after that point. You too can set particular educational-based targets with set quantities of required occasions for educations books, movies, and apps. If little Eduardo goes to spend all rattling day on his pill, he may as nicely be taught one thing, proper?
There’s additionally an choice to set the entire quantity of display time allowed, which can or might not be one thing you’re into. You possibly can set it from one to six hours, however there’s additionally an “limitless” choice. When you’re not into simply blanket-allowing display time, there’s additionally an choice to permit particular time by exercise. That means you possibly can allow them to learn as many books as they need, however solely watch movies or play video games for a restricted time. I really like how granular that’s.
When you’re completed organising occasions, simply press the again button.
There are a few different tweaks you can also make right here, like add/take away content material choices the place you’ll add or take away new books, apps, and movies; a internet browser toggle; and Good Filters, which principally assist create a curated expertise for FreeTime Limitless profiles.
Contained in the FreeTime Profile
When you launch FreeTime and choose your baby’s profile, the pill doesn’t simply superficially develop into their pill—it truly utterly locks itself down. The lockdown course of is so thorough, actually, we had been shocked at what a full job it does. FreeTime even unmounts the native storage in order that even you probably have a notably intelligent baby that plugs the pill into a laptop, they received’t give you the chance to open the folders containing footage taken by mother and pop, music, motion pictures, or different content material on the gadget.
What the kid will see is the display above, containing a carousel of media. This carousel shows all of the (authorised) content material out there within the Amazon proprietor’s instant library, by default. Because the baby makes use of the gadget, the carousel will replace to embody probably the most just lately used media (books, apps, and movies), identical to the common Fire OS interface.
When you faucet on the shortcuts on the prime, you’ll see a record of simply that individual class (books, movies, apps) on the gadget, in addition to all of the content material out there through FreeTime Limitless (in case you’ve activated the subscription).
The identical structure repeats itself for movies and apps. In any of the content material isn’t saved domestically on the gadget, it will likely be downloaded from Amazon. All of the media (books, movies, and apps) supplied in FreeTime are utterly free. There’s no likelihood your baby can click on on something supplied by the service and unintentionally buy something.
The final navigation display, and one we expect is especially intelligent, is the Characters display. As any mum or dad can let you know, youngsters connect themselves to characters. Be it The Cat within the Hat, Dora the Explorer, or simply a basic love of dinosaurs, youngsters develop particular tastes.
Within the Characters menu, they’ll simply discover content material they’re in search of by choosing a character (just like the Cat within the Hat) or a basic subject (like dinosaurs) they’re actually into. Clicking on a particular character icon will present all of the out there media associated to that character:
The complete person expertise is totally siloed, and at no level can the kid get out of the FreeTime backyard and into the remainder of the gadget. Urgent the house button at all times takes them again to the unique kid-friendly media carousel. Looking out utilizing the quick-find characteristic solely searches the out there kid-friendly content material. In the event that they swipe down the top-screen navigation bar like so:
The one setting they’ll alter is the display brightness. Every part else: Settings, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Storage, and exiting FreeTime, requires a parental password.
As of proper now, and for the foreseeable future, FreeTime is probably the most complete parental controls choice out there within the pill market. It locks the pill down tight, it customizes the interface, and with the addition of FreeTime Limitless, it delivers hundreds upon hundreds of kid-friendly books, motion pictures, tv reveals, and apps, all organized in an straightforward to search and navigate system. When you’re interested in FreeTime Limitless, there’s an choice inside FreeTime to give it a strive for one month earlier than having to cough up a couple of bucks a month.