Amazon has been selling Kids Edition versions of its budget tablets for the past few years, offering a rugged bumper case, a 2-year “worry-free” warranty, and a FreeTime Unlimited service that provides access to a kid-friendly library of more than 20,000 apps, games, eBooks and videos, among other things.
Now Google is making a play for the kid-friendly tablet space with the introduction of its new Google Kids Space experience that offers a “kids mode on select Android tablets.”
The new feature is coming first to the new Lenovo Tab M10 HD Gen 2 tablet, but it should be available for additional devices in the future.
Google Kids Space brings together some existing Google features including Family Link parental controls and the Kids tab in Gogle Play. But it also presents a simplified user interface with quick access to age-appropriate materials for kids, separated into Play, Read, Watch, and Make tabs.
Content will likely vary by region, but Google says it’s worked with publishers to make children’s books available to read for free, so you’ll find “over 400 free books available in the US alone,” in the Read tab, while the Watch and Make tabs have an assortment of content from YouTube Kids.
One of the first tablets to support Kids Mode will be the Lenovo Tab M10 HD Gen 2, which is a budget tablet coming in September for $130 and up. The tablet features a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, a MediaTek P22T processor, and a choice of 2GB RAM/32GB storage or 4GB/64GB configurations.
Lenovo is also introducing two versions of the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD Gen 2 which has similar specs, but which are positioned for use as both tablets and smart displays. A Google Assistant model comes with a smart charging station/stand, while an Alexa version comes with a smart dock featuring a built-in speaker.
and Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD Gen 2 (with Google Assistant or Alexa).