The Amazon Fire kid version tablets come with enormous benefit: FreeTime Unlimited, which is Amazon’s kid content platform that lets parents monitor their child’s access to books, movies, games, and apps.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition’s 7-inch screen has a low, 1024 x 600 resolution, but it’s fine for most uses.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition runs on Amazon’s Fire OS, which is a modified version of Android. It has its own app store, so there is no reason to access Google Play. Below the screen are the three buttons familiar to Android users: a triangular back button, a round home button and a square Open Apps button that allows the user to see and interact with all apps opened.
Swiping down from the top reveals the notification shade, which displays the time, battery life and which profile is currently in use. You can also adjust the screen brightness, and access the camera and aeroplane mode. This is also where you access the main Settings page.
The touch keyboard is fine if typing a few words into a search bar. The spacing between the digital keys is made for child-size fingers.
There are three possible profiles that can be used on this device. The Child and Teen profiles are very similar, but the Adult profile is the one that can be found on a regular Kindle. All of the profiles’ Home screens are divided into categories that can be swiped through. The Child and Teen categories include Books, Videos, and Apps. If web or internet access is enabled for a Child or Teen profile, they can access a special FreeTime browser, which has a limited list of age-appropriate sites, though it offers parents the ability to add to its whitelist.
The Adult home screen has additional categories, such as Shop, Apps, Music, Audible, and Newsstand. The adult browser is called Silk, and it works reasonably well but doesn’t sync with Google account as the Chrome browser does.
The parental controls on the Child and Teen profiles let the parent get very specific about what they want their children to have access to. Broad permissions can be given with the Fire’s Smart Filters. Some of the simpler controls in the Profiles & Family Library section include a Bedtime setting for the device and a time for it to turn back on again, to make sure kids go to bed without distractions. Goals can be set for the children, such as reading for a certain amount of time, using an educational app or blocking all other content until the objective is completed.
There is a separate section in the settings called Parental Controls that gives access to other controls, such as setting up a PIN for purchasing or blocking the store altogether. A curfew for the device and profile monitoring can be set, to see what the children are spending their time with the Fire.
Like most Amazon products, Fire 7 is equipped with Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa. However, it will not work on any of the profiles if any of the parental controls are activated.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition runs on a quad-core 1.3-GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, which is just enough for kids to stream videos, read, and play basic games.
Get more information about this tablet here; Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition.