By STF News
Our smartphones are gateways to a world of limitless experiences. However, because there are no limits, parents should be careful about protecting their kids from content that could be harmful, and need to prevent them from accessing important files. These are just a few of the concerns that tend to prevent parents from allowing their kids to use smart devices.
If you’re a parent in need of a ‘fence’ that allows kids to access the limitless digital world in a safe manner, Samsung Kids could be just what you’ve been looking for. Samsung Kids is a home launcher made just for kids that prevents them from being exposed to external services and fills their smartphone with family-friendly apps that entertain and encourage them to learn. Read on to find out how Samsung Kids’ latest update with One UI 4 adds even more safety and variety to features that families rely on every day.
How Samsung Kids Evolved To Offer More Convenience and Fun
The platform we now know as Samsung Kids was originally introduced in 2014 as Kids Mode. Created to enable kids to use smartphones more safely, Kids Mode featured settings that made it easy for parents to ensure that their kids only had access to apps provided by the Kids Mode service, along with any others that parents had allowed. It also offered kids their first taste of the Galaxy ecosystem with the design that catered to their preferences and featured unique and friendly characters.
Since then, Kids Mode has continued to evolve. A diverse collection of content was added for each age group and category to ensure that kids would continue to have fun and learn with their smartphones.
When Kids Mode eventually became Samsung Kids, it became even more convenient and offered a greater variety of content. Now users can activate Samsung Kids with just a single tap in the Quick Panel – no download required. They can also instantly turn the feature on or off when unlocking their phone. There’s no need to set up a dedicated password, and the feature offers a detailed view of usage patterns. Samsung has also enriched the service with more types of content through collaboration with partner companies. You can learn more about these and other enhancements that offer kids a richer smartphone experience and take the stress out of choosing content for your child in the video below.
Key Update ①: Adjusting Background Colors and Apps Based on Age Groups
Samsung Kids is mainly intended to be used by kids between the ages of three and eight. Now, with the update, there are options to change the background’s color and the apps displayed on screen so that more age groups can utilize the service. To better cater to their child’s needs, parents can delete default apps and populate the home screen with the content from the Recommended Content page and apps that they have downloaded and allowed.
Useful default apps for younger kids include Bobby’s Canvas (a drawing app), My Magic Voice (a voice modifier) and Lisa’s Music Band (a musical app). Parents also have the option to hide certain apps and content if they wish.
Kids who are eight years old and older may benefit more from content that’s a little more challenging. Examples include apps like Crocro’s Adventure, which allows kids to practice logical thinking through block coding, My Browser, which features English news articles, and Pettson’s Inventions, which is listed under partner apps. Users also have the option to change the background color to suit their preferences. In addition, by early next year, kids who use the home launcher will be able to decorate their home screen with their own drawings.
Key Update ②: Stronger Parental Controls for Monitoring Activity and Setting Weekly Goals
Every parent wants to know which apps their kids use most and what kinds of apps they prefer. Samsung Kids’ updated parental control feature not only provides detailed insights on kids’ mobile activities for the day, but the last month as well. Apps are listed based on frequency of use, making it easier to monitor screen time for each one.
Healthy smartphone usage habits are created when goals are established and adhered to. Having a record of your child’s smartphone activities is helpful for setting up weekly usage goals. Depending on their circumstances, users can establish a same screen time goal to be followed every day, or they can also set up different goals for each day of the week.
Key Update ③: Recommended Content Page Now Includes AR Features and Partner Apps
Samsung Kids not only provides features for basic activities like taking photos and drawing, but also includes a wide range of content developed through collaboration with partners. If you swipe right on the home screen, you’ll find various new apps that cater to kids’ preferences, which can easily be dragged and added to the home screen.
Apps that make use of AR (augmented reality) are also introduced with the update. For example, My AR Theater and My Art Studio allow kids to craft their own special stories with Crocro and his friends in augmented reality. They can save their stories as videos, and can take pictures and decorate them with AR stickers made from their own drawings. These features empower kids to unleash their imagination and develop their creativity. Kids can also enjoy a wide variety of fun activities with partner apps like LEGO DUPLO World, Disney Coloring and Toca Boca’s newest apps.
Key Update ④: Promoting Healthy Mobile Habits by Offering Kids Insights Into Their Smartphone Use
Samsung Kids continues to evolve to make it easier for young users to enjoy more fun and educational content. Beginning with One UI 4, Crocro’s Little Friends will welcome kids on the Welcome Board, and their greetings and interactions will differ depending on the situation and as more character actions are added.1 The newly added partners’ content app card, meanwhile, groups recommended apps together based on category, making it more convenient for users to find apps that they might like.
Cards designed to help users monitor their activity and screen time have also been added. This was done under the assumption that kids, like their parents, would also be curious about their smartphone activity. Now, kids can monitor their activities and screen time together with their parents, or set up their own smartphone usage plan to further develop their autonomy.
Key Update ⑤: Introducing New and Even Friendlier ‘Little Friends’
With the update, Crocro and his ‘Little Friends’ – Samsung Kids’ group of charming and unique characters – have become even friendlier, and now include characters from both the land and the sea. You can meet all six characters in the video below, including new additions like Leo the seal, who likes to collect things from the ocean, and Finn the intelligent dolphin.
With limited opportunities to enjoy the outdoors these days, kids have been using mobile devices more frequently. In light of this trend, it has become even more important for kids to develop good mobile habits and utilize fun and educational content. Going forward, Samsung plans to make Samsung Kids even more enjoyable, and a safer ‘fence’ for the digital world that considers both parents and kids.
“We want Samsung Kids to be a partner as well as a friend to both kids and their parents. We’ll devote more efforts to making sure that users see more of Crocro and his Little Friends, more often,” said Jong-in Lee, Samsung Kids service PO (Project Owner) in Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications Business.
1 Welcome Board functions may differ depending on the version of the operating system
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Not long ago a leaker claimed that an upcoming Samsung smartwatch would run Android (presumably meaning Wear OS), and now we've seen evidence that this may well be true.
Twitter user Ivan_Meler (who shared the data with XDA Developers) found reference to a device codenamed 'Merlot' in some source code for the Samsung Galaxy S20, and alongside it there was mention of Wear OS.
That therefore suggests both that this is a wearable, and more importantly that it's one that runs Google's smartwatch operating system.
That said, there's no indication here of exactly which smartwatch 'Merlot' is, so we can't definitively say that it's the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. It could alternatively be the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3 or something else altogether. Perhaps even the first in a new line of Wear OS wearables from Samsung.
Whatever it is though, this seems close to a confirmation that Samsung has a Wear OS wearable in the works, and even with a previous leak backing it up, that surprises us slightly, as in many ways Tizen (which current Samsung smartwatches use) is a superior smartwatch operating system.
Still, a Samsung wearable powered by Wear OS could be just what's needed to reinvigorate Google's struggling operating system, so we're certainly intrigued to see how it will turn out.
It's not clear right now when this wearable will land (assuming it exists), but as soon as it does you can be sure that TechRadar will test it in full, and tell you whether the switch to Wear OS was a smart one.
I want to add a self signed certificate in Tizen watch to access secured web services.
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