One of the differentiating factors for the Windows Phone platform that I pointed out before is the Kids Corner. As a parent it takes away all the angst of having fart emails sent to your boss and your language changed to Hungarian (which I am sure is a beautiful language, but of very little use to me). Having a restricted area of the phone meant for little nosy monkeys, means I have much less hesitation of handing over my phone to my partner’s 8-year old monkey to use the games (and for some reason the Here Transit app).
But as good as it is I have a few recommendations for future versions of the feature on the Windows Phone platform.
1 Battery Level Restrictions
I tweeted about this idea the other day. One of the few issues I come across when monkey-boy is using my phone is that he loves the games, especially the ones that gorges electricity, nom nom nom. In a short period of time he has manage to get the battery level to critical (it is a special kids talent), and not long after I get handed back a dead phone. Geez, thanks boy.
If there was a restriction to log kids out of Kids Corner once the battery level got to a pre-set level that would counter the need to frantically find a charger in an emergency. It would perhaps even bring up a warning when the level was 5% off.
Idea for @nokia and @windowsphone. Restrict access/usage to Kids Corner based on battery level. No more dead phone when needed. /cc @dvlup
— Lars Klint (@larsklint) January 13, 2014
2 Developer Hooks
Due to my geekdom I would like to be able to hook my Windows Phone apps into Kids Corner. It could be during installation, the user would be prompted to add the app to Kids Corner, or maybe it could even be a flag to identify apps that would only show in Kids Corner.
I could image a use for an API that would allow stats to be produced from Kids Corner on usage, especially data usage. I am just spit balling here, but the better you can customise the Kids Corner application the more use it would likely get.
3 Independent Password
I still believe this is a bug/oversight from the development team. Initially when you set up Kids Corner you can disable the password on Kids Corner, but if you miss it at that step, touch luck. For some reason there is no second chance.
Surely it would make sense to have a separate password or no password at all on Kids Corner. In my experience kids love the Kids Corner as they feel it is their part of the phone, and they take ownership of it. If they could have their own password or none (set up by the parent of course), this would only emphasise this sense of possession.
4 Restrict Access to Photos
I get that kids love photos and seeing themselves on the phone is a part of that. But I would love to be able to set up a separate folder that little Mr “know-it-all” would be allowed to access. Currently all photos on the phone and the camera can be accessed through the customize function, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Similarly, certain online albums of for example the family, could be granted access too as well. There might be sensitive photos (aheeemm) or pictures of their birthday presents you don’t want them to access.
5 Multiple Instances
I only live with one 8-year old (going on 32), but if you were succumbed to more instances of small humans, then they could each want their own Kids Corner. I could just imagine putting my favourite Barbie game on Jordan’s screen. He probably wouldn’t talk to me for several minutes. If combined with the password feature above, each kid could have their own little corner and collection of apps. Or you could just buy more Nokia Lumia phones. Win-win really.