Kid Mode by Zoodles

Main App Screen

Most tablet (Barnes in Noble Nook HD/+ being the only exception I know) do not have user profiles. Although slightly annoying for adults, it is even more troublesome if you have children. There are so many apps, documents and settings you don’t want your child to change, mess-up or download. Kid Mode takes over your tablet with child friendly interface, age appropriate content and any other app or website you decide he should have access to.

The age appropriate content that it provides includes videos, games and story books. Some of the videos appear to be sourced from YouTube and other free sources. The free version of the app only has one story book available, but you can buy more or sign up for the premium services for all the books (as low as $40.00/year). The premium service also has some other good features like the ability to block websites, promote certain subjects, and block characters. Although the free version doesn’t allow you to block websites, you can set up allowed websites by creating a shortcut and then adding that shortcut as an App that your child can use.

I have two issues with the app. The first one is a matter of opinion. One of the great things about letting your child play with tablets is that your child is learning key multiple touch skills (pinching, rotating, and sliding to name a few). The UI of Kid Mode although not bad isn’t as rich as the modern Android operating system.

The second issue is how easy it is to overcome the kid lock. To unlock as a parent your options are to either draw the letter Z or to provide the birth year of an adult by typing it into the keypad. For very young kids these task are very difficult, but as early as second grade some kids would be able to figure it out.

My nephew for example has mastered drawing the Z even though he can’t read the instructions. As for the year, he has figured out that it should start with a 1 and then he guesses the other digits of the year. Not sure why Kid Mode has not implemented a pattern or pin scheme.

Although Kid Mode is not perfect, I don’t currently know of any other app that attempts to do what it does. I would recommend it for any parent that needs to restrict what his/her child has access to. I reviewed the Play version of Kid Mode but a iPad/iPhone version also exists. Although it appears it is even easier to remove the lock on iPhone/iPad.