You get a lot for that extra $30.
Here’s the thing about the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition — it’s an amazon Echo Dot. The hardware is unchanged. Yeah, it’s got a fun, colorful case around it. (Red, blue or green, since you asked.) But it’s still an Echo Dot. It’s not fuzzy or cute or in any way noticeably different on the outside.
But where things get interesting is on the inside. Or, rather, up in the cloud.
See, the big difference with the Kids Edition of the Echo Dot is that along with the $79 price tag, you get a bunch of kid-friendly extras.
That includes a year of FreeTime Unlimited. That’s Amazon’s little service that gives you access to a world of kid-friendly games, books, radio stations — and now Amazon Alexa skills. After the first year it’s $2.99 a month, so, yeah, it’s a gateway drug.
But the thing is Freetime Unlimited is actually really good for kid-friendly content. Audio books? Check. Games that you don’t have to worry about? Check. Because let’s face it — if you’re giving a kid their own Amazon Echo Dot, you’re not going to be standing next to it every time they summon Alexa.
Don’t want the kid to be able to talk to Alexa all night? (Or all day for that matter?) You’ll be able to control that through the parental dashboard.
Here’s how Amazon puts everything:
Kids will love interacting with Alexa, and Echo Dot Kids Edition features turn Alexa into a kid-friendly study buddy, DJ, comedian, storyteller, and more. The included 1-year FreeTime Unlimited subscription contains a variety of kid-focused skills, along with thousands of songs from ad-free radio stations and playlists from iHeartRadio Family, like Radio Disney, Nick Radio and Kids Hits.
FreeTime Unlimited also gives kids access to over 300 Audible books, including Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan. They’ll enjoy hundreds of hours of fun and educational content, like hearing stories from Disney characters, playing No Way That’s True from Nickelodeon, quizzing their knowledge with National Geographic, waking up to special alarms featuring characters they love, and more.
Again, none of that is bad at all. It’s not a bad use of $30.
But the question you have to ask yourself is how much that extra $30 is really worth to you, then. And that’ll directly relate to how old the kid is. And how much time you expect them to spend interacting with an Echo Dot. And how much of your own parental responsibility you want to place on Alexa instead of doing it yourself.
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May 3, 2018 at 06:03AM