Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition gives parents complete control

By

Echo Dot Kids
Echo Dot is now child-friendly.
Photo: Amazon

Now your little ones can get to know Alexa with the new Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition.

It’s just like a regular Echo Dot, but it comes inside a colorful protective case and a one-year subscribtion to the “FreeTime Unlimited” service that gives parents complete control over content. You’ll have to pay a premium for those extra features, though.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items. Read our reviews policy.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition follows the same formula as the Kindle Fire Kids Edition; you can expect exactly the same hardware, protected by a case, and combined with services that make it safe for kids. Amazon also promises to replace the device for free if it gets broken within two years.

Echo Dot Kids Edition with FreeTime Unlimited

Echo Dot is the smallest smart speaker available from Amazon, offering seven microphones that listen out for your Alexa commands, a speaker for responding and playing music, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 3.5mm jack for hooking up to another speaker.

The Kids Edition is available in a red, green, or blue case — but it’s the FreeTime Unlimited subscription that’s most important. This is what gives parents control over their child’s speaker, and ensures they don’t stumble upon content their little ears shouldn’t hear.

FreeTime blocks things like news, shopping results, and third-party skills that require a link to another account. It also lets you set limits on how much Alexa can be used, and times during which Alexa should be disabled. You can also block access to explicit songs on Amazon Music.

You’ll also get access to the Parent Dashboard, where you’ll find a log of all the things your child’s Echo Dot has been used for. It will show songs and audiobooks that were played, plus any skills that were activated.

What’s really great about FreeTime is that it even has the ability to adjust Alexa responses to make them more suitable for kids. For instance, rather than direct responses to questions, it will provide more context that makes it easier for younger users to understand the answer.

Echo Dot Kids Edition is available to pre-order now

You can pre-order the Echo Dot Kids Edition now ahead of its official release on May 9. It’s priced at $79.99, which makes it $30 more expensive than the regular Echo Dot.

Before you rush off to pre-order one, you should know that FreeTime is also coming to other Alexa speakers — including the regular Echo Dot — soon. If your child already has one, then, you’ll be able to activate the parental controls without having to buy a new model.

That doesn’t mean the $30 premium isn’t worth it. You’ll have to pay extra for a subscription to FreeTime Unlimited if you want to activate it on another device, and of course, you don’t get a protective case if you don’t buy the Kids Edition.

Buy from: Amazon