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App Wrap: Some Touchscreen Devices Offer Experience Tailored To Kids

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TWC News: App Wrap: Some Touchscreen Devices Offer Experience Tailored To Kids
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NY1 highlights the coolest and newest apps for your cell phone or mobile device in the twice-weekly segment "App Wrap." NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

If you think a child in your life is ready for a tablet, but you're not quite ready to spring for something as pricey as an iPad and they're not quite old enough to experience all the Internet has to offer in all its unfiltered glory, there are some touchscreen devices with "training-wheels," so to speak.

An example is the new $150 LeapPad Ultra, which, like previous LeapPad tablets, is ruggedized and has access to nearly 1,000 kid-friendly apps. This version, however, is the first to have Wi-Fi, so children can surf the web, with a twist.

"Instead of having a blacklist or a sites that kids can't get to, we actually have a pre-approved set of content that we reviewed every image, every website, every video," says Jodi Sherman LeVos of LeapFrog. "So everything that's available for kids has been reviewed and approved by a learning expert."

VTech's newest Innotab, the $70 3S, also connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi for child-safe browsing. Plus, this one comes with a new feature called Kid Connect.

"Download the Kid Connect app, and your kid can use the InnoTab 3S and communicate back and forth to you on your tablet or your smartphone," says Elizabeth Mackey of VTech. "You can send a text that you would type in, but for the younger child, what's really great is there are animated stickers and emoticons so they can send. But you can also send voice messages."

Finally, Kurio tablets have always been more traditional Android devices with beefed up parental controls. Well, the $100 Kurio Touch 4S is pretty much the same deal, only think of this as the Android equivalent to the iPod touch.

"Parents can make sure that you're on the Internet or using it safely with also time management, app management so that you can set for each child how strict you want to be," says Jason Willard of Techno Source.

Parents can configure the Touch 4S so that up to four kids can use it, or mom and dad can switch to full Android mode and use it themselves without any restrictions.

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