Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

New Nexus 7 takes on iPad Mini and Kindle Fire HD

Galen Gruman | Aug. 15, 2013
Google's revised media tablet is a lot better than the original, but not enough to unseat the iPad Mini in our media tablet deathmatch.

Family security. There's another kind of security to consider for a media tablet, because it's likely to be shared by several family members. In this regard, the Kindle Fire HD and new Nexus 7 are the most secure.

The Kindle Fire HD includes the FreeTime app that lets you set up separate content libraries for each person, essentially giving them a separate login to just their library. Parents can use that capability to restrict what their kids can access, as well as limit the number of hours of usage each day.

The new Nexus 7 lets you set separate user accounts on the tablet, so each person has his or her own apps and content. Furthermore, you can set up restricted profiles for users, so parents can control what apps and services their kids can access. You can restrict access to any downloaded app, not just predefined Apple titles as in the case of the iPad, and you can turn off location detection globally (not per-service, as in iOS). But there aren't the age-related restrictions for content as in iOS, so you can't for example restrict Google Play videos to G and PG-13 movies.

The iPad Mini's Guided Access lets you restrict the tablet to a specific app and even block some of an app's capabilities (such as Buy buttons) by drawing blocking ovals around their controls. But this new iOS 6 feature has to be enabled each time you want to use it and can be used for just one app at a time. It's fine when you want to hand your iPad to your kid for a specific purpose, but it's nowhere near as useful as the ability to set up separate environments, as the Kindle Fire HD and new Nexus 7 can.

The iPad has a comprehensive set of parental controls that let you configure what your kids can access. Tech-savvy parents can even use Apple's free Apple Configurator tool for OS X to create and deploy profiles with such configurations to their kids' devices, as well as update them remotely (though we're talking supergeek parents here). Safari's private browsing mode lets parents access Web pages they don't want their kids to easily see, as this mode ensures no history is kept of the visited pages.

But iOS doesn't let you have multiple accounts, so if you want to set parental controls for your kid, you either need to have a separate iPad for each child (clearly what Apple would prefer you do) or enable them when you allow your child to use your iPad and then disable them when you want to use that iPad. You can't even save settings groups, so such enabling and disabling is a manual process for each setting. Not good.


Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.