Amazon has refreshed the Echo Dot Kids Edition, the child-friendly smart speaker it debuted last year, adding new features, a new design and improved sound.
The new version mimics the design of the third-gen Echo Dot, which means it gets that lovely new fabric exterior. It does, however, do away with those interchangeable bumpers, and instead you can select from two color fabric designs: blue and rainbow. Amazon says the new design makes it 70% louder, too, which the kids will love. We can't guarantee parents will.
The whole point of the Echo Dot Kids Edition is to provide a more age-appropriate Alexa experience, and, as such, the new model will also include a year's supply of Freetime Unlimited, giving you unlimited access to a catalogue of over 1,000 Audible books for kids and premium Alexa skills from Sony and Disney.
The Kids Edition has more of a focus around games, as well, including a new kid-friendly flash briefing that pulls from places as National Geographic and other appropriate educational sources.
We should also mention that Alexa's responses to questions will remain kid-friendly too. Parents will be able to control all these settings in the app, such as setting an age bracket or limiting much time the kids can have with Alexa.
Finally, Amazon's adding Alexa Skills Blueprints to the Kids Edition, meaning children will be able to build their own Alexa Skills. Never too early to start training them for that future Amazon job, eh?
You might recall that Amazon recently found itself in hot water over the Echo Dot Kids Edition, accused of violating child privacy laws by not deleting voice recordings by default. However, Amazon insisted it was complying with the Children‚Äôs Online Privacy Protection Act, and says it's doing the same here.
The new Echo Dot Kids Edition will be available from 26 June and is available to pre-order now for a limited-time promotional price of $49.99. It will cost $69.99 after that.