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It appears Amazon hopes busy parents are looking to the web for keeping their children entertained and informed. The company has launched Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, a monthly subscription-based service which allows parents to consume unlimited amounts of child-focused digital content on their Kindle Fire tablets, including a curated list of "thousands" of movies, apps, games and books.
FreeTime Unlimited has two tiers, both of which offer unlimited access: a plan for one child and a second plan for "up to six children". The single-child plan is $2.99 per month for Amazon Prime subscribers or $4.99 per month for non-Prime members. The six-child plan costs $6.99 or $9.99 for Prime and non-Prime users, respectively.
The service appears to only work only with Kindle Fire tablets sans the first-generation model from 2011 -- at least according to Gizmodo. However, the updated, $159 non-HD Kindle Fire is said to work just fine.
If you do have any problems with the service or simply don't like it, Amazon is currently offering a one-month, obligation-free trial so feel free to indulge without worries.
The service claims to show content customized for children based on their age and gender. Additionally, parents are able to select and offers titles from their own content (presumably if they are Prime members) which may be missing from Amazon's automatic selection.
FreeTime Unlimited -- with slight irony -- also allows parents to set limits on the amount of time children can spend reading books, watching videos or using apps. When a Kindle Fire tablet is in FreeTime mode, access to the app store and web browser are locked while configurable daily limits and category restrictions help ensure unsupervised youth won't discover anything too unsavory. Amazon says this feature will enable kids to "explore a world of age-appropriate content on their own - no ads, no in-app purchases".
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
The Google Nexus 7 has the distinction of being the first device to run the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" operating system. It measures 198.5mm x 120mm x 10.45mm in size, weighs 340g, and features a 7-inch IPS display that is protected by scratch-resistant glass. The Nexus sports a 1280 x 800 pixel display. It runs a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM, it also comes in 2 versions: 8GB and 16GB capacities.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
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