Once upon a time we were signed up to both Netflix and Love Film, but then Love Film were taken over by Amazon, and much as I love Amazon, I wasn’t keen on the £79 price tag that came with becoming an Amazon Prime member. I preferred Netflix at the time.
A lot has changed in that year. Love Film has become Amazon Instant Video and their basic repertoire of available videos and series is now 15,000. In fact, they’re becoming so popular now, that like other services, they’re commissioning their own films. This week we were invited to the #Amazonsummer event to preview the new Annedroids show that’ll be released on Amazon Instant Video on the 25th of this month – more on that another time.
What I did love, however (and what’s actually motivated me to investigate switching from Netflix to Amazon Prime) is how Amazon Instant Video integrates with Kindle Free Time.
If you’re not familiar with Kindle Free Time, which comes as standard with the Kindle Fire HDX, let me tell you a little about it:
Kindle Freetime allows you to create up to four different profiles for different users, and then to control what they can access and for how long.
For example, if you have downloaded apps onto your Kindle Fire HDX, you can choose which of the other profiles can access each app – my oldest daughter can access certain games that are too ‘old’ for my youngest, so her profile doesn’t have those. There are ‘baby books’ on the youngest’s profile that the oldest doesn’t need, so she doesn’t have them on hers. Then there are games that they both enjoy, so it’s on both their profiles, even though I only purchased it once.
I can set time limits on it too – they can play games for half an hour, but can read books for an hour … I say read, but they are only four and two, so it’s more like audio books with pictures. In the latest update you can even set it so that they have to complete a set time of educational activities before they can start playing.
If they try to leave Kindle Freetime, a password request comes up and they can’t and while they are in Free Time, there’s a blue background so that even from a distance you can see that they’re in it.
I wrote a review on Kindle Freetime last year, and the only negative I listed was this:
The only thing it doesn’t do for us is limit what they can and can’t access on Netflix, but that’s not Kindle’s fault.
And now, with Instant Video and Kindle Free Time, you actually can!
I may have to check a few of these facts, but what I remember from the million and one questions I asked at the event was this:
- You can download videos from Amazon Instant Video onto your Kindle (and a host of other devices) so that you can watch them off line. This is amazing for long flights, or when you’re abroad and don’t want to be using data to watch films or something or are just not in a data area.
- You can choose which movies you download. If there’s a particular programme you don’t want your kids watching, just don’t download it! They have free reign over what they watch, within the limits you’ve set. I love this.
- You can set limits so the kids can only watch one film a day – or whatever number you choose. Or set it that they have to read for a while first. Or set it that they’re only allowed however much time on games.
- You can change these limits for each child too
- The new shows are coming out just in time for summer, so I’m sure the kids will enjoy them.
I must say, my Ameli has always been an early riser. A good day to her starts anytime between 5 and 6am which just doesn’t work for me. Now she wakes up in the morning, grabs the Kindle and plays, watches or ‘reads’ to her heart’s content, allowing the rest of us our more reasonable wake up time, and we’re all happier for it.
I love Amazon, and I love, love, love my Kindle, and a year ago I was really excited about Kindle Free Time and now with Amazon Instant Video added, my love affair is complete.
It gives me as parent complete control over my child’s screen-time influences, all the while leaving them to make choices within their own framework of ownership. I just love it all.