Amazon announces new Echo Dot and Alexa features for kids

Amazon today announced its new Echo Dot Kid’s Edition and ‘FreeTime’ content services for parents and children.

What it is: Today’s big announcements include a new service for parents and kids called FreeTime, which comes in a free and subscription version, and a new Echo Dot bundle for kids.

The unpaid version of FreeTime, available on your existing Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Plus devices starting May 9, will update Alexa with parental controls, to include time limits and explicit song blocking. It’ll also include a kid-friendly content overhaul giving Alexa the ability to “speak kid,” making its suggestions and responses age-appropriate for young learners.

Why it matters: The fact that this is free and adds in useful features for parents makes it a no-brainer. If your smart speaker is helping you to be a super parent, you’ll want to brush up on FreeTime even if you’re not interested in the paid version.

But if you are willing to part with a few bucks a month, there’s FreeTime Unlimited. It’s a subscription service starting at $2.99 monthly for Prime members, has all the features of the unpaid version plus a bunch of content curated specifically for children.

For a full list of FreeTime features visit Amazon.

Amazon is also announcing the Echo Dot Kid’s Edition, which includes the speaker, a case, and a one year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited. The Kid’s Edition also comes with premium Disney skills, over 300 children’s books on Audible, and a two-year worry-free warranty (the regular Dot has a 90-day limited warranty).

You can preorder the Echo Dot Kid’s Edition now for $79.99. It’s scheduled to be released on May 9.

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