Tel Aviv-based KIDO’Z, which got its start back in 2009 as a kid-friendly media browser for desktop computers is finally making the jump to mobile. The company is officially announcing an Android version of its software that enables parents to lock down their smartphones and tablets, only allowing kids access to approved mobile applications and websites. The app also provides kids with a directory of pre-approved childsafe apps to choose from when they’re in search of new content.
When KIDO’Z first launched, it offered an Adobe AIR-powered desktop browser that let kids play games, watch videos and visit approved websites. Today’s kids are no longer clamoring for PC time, however – they want to play with mom and dad’s phones and tablets. Because the Android operating system allows mobile applications to more tightly integrate, access and control core OS features, it makes sense for KIDO’Z to choose Android as its initial foray into mobile.
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Other apps offer similar features to KIDO’Z, in terms of parental controls and kid app directories, including Famigo, which raised $1 million for its efforts in March 2012, recent Y Combinator participant Kytephone, and Play Safe, created by a former Kytephone team member, to name just a few that TechCrunch has covered in recent months.
But one thing that makes KIDO’Z more unique in this space is that it doesn’t just do app whitelisting and blocking, it also offers a pre-approved selection of content and an ad-blocker tool. While that latter feature might not be great news for content creators, it can be good news for parents who don’t want their child exposed to ads for “Death Zombie Battle Gore IV” while enjoying “Happy Bunny Sunshine”…or whatever. (I’m sure most content creators target better than that, but you can never be too careful).
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Photo by KIDO’Z