Parents, rejoice! Amazon just released a bunch of kid-friendly Alexa features you’ll love
The days of kids barking orders at Alexa and inherently learning that’s an acceptable way to treat other people have come to an end. With a bunch of kid-friendly new updates, any Alexa command that comes from a kid without a “Please” attached will be met with this response: “What’s the magic word?”
Amazon just released a whole set of updates that will have parents cheering. They come with a new feature called “FreeTime on Alexa,” which is free for any Alexa device owner to activate. It basically turns the smart speaker super kid-friendly with filters and ways for parents to keep tabs on their kids’ Alexa activities.
FreeTime on Alexa will allow parents to set limits on how much their kids use Alexa, as well as limit use during certain times, like chore time, homework time, dinner time and bedtime. Any Alexa skill that parents don’t want their kids to use can be turned off. Music with explicit lyrics can be automatically blocked. Buying things off Amazon can be delayed until a parent gives consent. And parents will have access to “Activity Review,” which allows them to hear exactly what their kids have been asking Alexa to do, including recordings of the commands.
But what may be the best new feature of them all is the “Magic Word” function, which requires some basic manners for kids to ask Alexa for anything. In that mode, any command made without the word “please” will be denied. So long, kids who learn from their Alexa speakers that barking out orders will get you anywhere in life. Mind your P’s and Q’s, or Alexa will tell you to.
FreeTime on Alexa is free to use, but Amazon is also rolling out an “Unlimited” version, which will cost $3 a month for Amazon Prime subscribers and come pre-loaded with 300 audiobooks for kids, ad-free kids’ radio stations and activities from Nickelodeon, Disney and National Geographic. There’s also a new version of the Amazon Echo Dot speaker geared specifically toward kids, with a hard outer case, a two-year guarantee and a free one-year subscription to FreeTime on Alexa Unlimited.
Hey, if your kids have to be addicted to all the latest tech, at least that tech can be teaching them some manners while they use it.