Amazon is revamping FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited, its curated, kid-friendly experiences on Amazon Fire tablets and other devices. It's giving them clearer names (Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+ respectively), and it's adding more features and content.
There's a new home screen theme that gives Fire tablets a more grown-up look — in other words, a bit more like the traditional tablet experience. Amazon is recommending it for kids aged eight and older. The company will roll that out over the coming weeks, and you can select it from the Adjust Age Filters and Themes section in the Parent Dashboard.
Kids will also soon be able to use their Fire tablets to broadcast a message to other Alexa devices in their home. A parent will have to approve the Alexa Announcements feature, which will become available in the next few weeks. Kids will just need to tap on the Announce icon on their home screen to broadcast a voice message.
On top of that, Amazon has added hundreds more video titles aimed at kids aged 6-12. They include titles from the likes of Angry Birds, Lego, Transformers, Barbie and Carmen Sandiego, along with game playthroughs (aka let's plays). The Amazon Kids home screen also includes quick access to iHeartRadio music stations.
Amazon Kids is free, while Kids+ costs $3/month for Prime members and $5/month for everyone else. The latter includes expanded access to audiobooks, Spanish-language media, books, shows, movies and games.