Would you want a 'kid zone' feature on your BlackBerry device?

By Adam Zeis on 7 Aug 2013 11:36 am EDT

Having kids is a great thing, but when it comes to keeping them occupied there are times when your phone is the only option. You can let them watch videos or play games and most times keep them quiet and out of trouble (for a little while anyway). 

However as kids get older, they also get smarter. So if you let them use your device for one purpose, they sometimes venture off to other areas that you may not want them. In my case my son is older and smarter so he can get pretty much wherever he wants, while my daughter just pokes around or tries to eat my phone and ends up in all kinds of fun places (like calling 911).

I'll admit that I'm a bit jealous of the "kids zone" features that other devices have to offer. Windows Phone has Kids Corner and Android devices have features like the Kindle's FreeTime that restrict the areas, apps or time that children can use devices. Even iOS has a bit of the same as well. 

I'd love to see the same type of feature come to BlackBerry 10. We do have a great set of parental controls that restrict the use of apps or phone calls, but nothing that really limits the usage time or areas of the device that kids can access. So what we want to know is if you'd like to see some sort of kids zone feature come to BlackBerry 10 that has just these features. 

Drop your vote in the poll below then hit up the comments with your thoughts!


Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Would you want a 'kid zone' feature on your BlackBerry device?


BlackBerry is lacking badly on good kids apps. Would be nice to have more, better quality app for kids.

Verizon Z10. Running Posted via CB10


It would be nice to be able to even just put a password on different folders to keep kids away from games that are not age appropriate.

Oh yes this would be awesome. But how to do this without access to a BES login seems difficult.

But overall yes a kids zone is a must.

Any thing to keep people from objecting to buying a BlackBerry is good in my book.

Well isn't most of this already built with Balance? just implement a modified version that doesn't require a BES.

Although Adam never mentioned it, this is also something that was found in the 10.2 leak. It's not currently active and no telling when it will be but BlackBerry is, in one way or another, looking at this being an option.

The way you did it was much better anyway. The 10.2 information isn't really relevant since it can't be utilized, it's more of a 'oh.. btw'.

I give my kid my phone on waiting rooms, long travels an that kind of situations in which I need the 5-year old focused in anything other than his boredom and tiredness. Just like our parents used to give us their key ring, car manual or any other interesting thing at hand.

Posted via CB10

Those plastic key really rings, manuals and assorted crap wouldn't accidentally call Time And Temp in East Timor and didn't cost $200-600 to replace.

Not everything is a toy.

I didn't realize that you were paying for us to replace our devices when we choose to let our children use them... I also didn't see anyone saying there should be a case made by a major children's toy manufacturer that turns it into a play thing (like the iphone). It was simply a question as to whether or not parents would like the option to secure certain parts/aspects of their device if they are going to be used by their children. You don't like that, then don't watch when I give me kid my phone or playbook to keep him entertained. Better yet, when he's reached his limit, don't complain and shoot dirty looks when he's getting antsy and making noise (you know, the way kids do) since you clearly object to children using electronic devices.

I almost pissed my pants after I read your iPhone comment.
PS Rene Ritchie just called and he said you're banned from the iMore site for life :)

Technology does pose some new challenges which exposed our life and those around us, it's a matter of choice regarding how responsible you are and how much you trust your little ones with all those gadgets.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:

I like the idea of customisable profiles - as presented above.

Options are a good thing! Give us the ability to create our own zones - and yeah, something like "balance", without bes, would be good too - something with multiple profiles.

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

Well I see a give away that makes me think there is one in the works.
When parental controls are on in the icons on the bottom bar dissappear after an app is moved and when you long press the bottom bar it does like it wants to rename the screen or a folder and the name says 'kids' and I have nothing to do with it being so, anyone else experienced this?

Posted from my Z10STL100-1/

It's not so much what they can access. I'd rather protect my media from deletion more than anything. I'd want the kid zone to access pics and movies, but have read-only access. Also, a more deliberate way to get out of an app would be good too. Swiping up out of a drawing app is far too easy to a two-year-old.

Exactly. The problem is kids by mistake delete or move the apps or files. They should have just ready only access.

I have several kids games in a folder for my kids and they know well to only go where they should. But what I'd really like is a browser feature to restrict adult sites. So far the only thing you can do, is shut the browser off all together. That's stupid.

Posted via CB10

My kids will never have access to my phone. Just the same way that my wife doesn't either, at the most just briefly because I'm showing her something. Very basic security and confidentiality practices.

But yeah, it would be nice to lock down an old phone or tablet so the kids are limited. Something like retail display mode but much harder to circumvent.

Posted via CB10 on Z10

Are you kidding? I bought the Kindle just for the kid Free Time! I can limit what she sees and how long she can play on the device (currently one hour per day). I would much rather have her become a Blackberry kid than just some Android...

I need a "friends mode" that disables the hub and any other messaging app.

Posted via CB10

I don't know why anyone would let a 3 year old play with a $600 phone. Get them something cheap like an ipod or ds

Posted via CB10

Umm, handing a $600 Z10 to a young child will teach it something. It will learn that Dad spasms when the phone is slammed against the brick fireplace, and Dad will learn something too, particularly once he checks and discovers the warranty recently expired.

Posted via CB10

Haha, that was good.

On topic: not in a 10000 years, my phone is my toy, kids should play with their own.

Posted via CB10

I would love this. My 4 year old is always trying to play with my phone.

As it is, I'm scared to password lock my phone because he'll sit there and blow through 10 attempts in no time just pecking at it.

If there is a "kids zone" or similar, they need a way to set the password to get out of that zone or profile to unlimited tries if you want. As kids get older, then you can set it back to the normal 10.

But I don't think I'd want to see that for the overall phone lock password.

Posted via CB10

Actually you just made me think and I dropped my jaw thinking about what you just said. What IF really somebody uses all ten attempts to unlock just for the heck of it just to wipe your phone for fun and leave you with hours of work setting it up from scratch? Never thought of it that way.

Posted via CB10

I have a PlayBook that the kids play with, so they don't touch my phone.

But this would have been a GREAT feature for the.... PlayBook.

Yes, even if it's just so I can put games in a folder for the kid and know that the kid can't get into my messages or phone Hawaii. I use my Z10 to distract the kid during diaper changes. If you've ever had a toddler take off on you in the middle of a diaper change you'll understand why a little distraction can go a long way.

Many times I've been concerned about my little one hacking my Facebook or sending a jibberish text to one of my ladies. This would come in handy ;)

Wife zone! The ability to block areas she has no business accessing custom settings. Lol!

Posted via CB10

NO WAY!!! My Berry is my business tool, not a toy. I would get them their own Kindle or something.

My phone is for me, not my child. Where is the option for my kid have her own device?

Posted via CB10 ~ visit my portrait channel C0011B779

BlackBerry is not for kids..This device is only for professional with security in mind..LOL

Posted via CB10

My daughter and I where checking an apple or samsung tablet for her birthday and holiday because the older PB battery is doomed and while testing she doesn't like both, she doesn't like the way how to open the system and doesn't like the homebutton. She said she wanted a playbook but the don't sell it here anymore in Holland. I try to push here to a samsung 7 inch but she don't want it. At home I order one at amazon.co.uk and she was happy to get a new one. She is 6 years old but she is PB and NDS fan.

So to get area is OK if you share but otherwise you can install only the thing she need.

Just give them a PlayBook. I use mine as a tea tray.

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Z10 on Rogers.

No one touches my Z10. No one!! Lol she has her own tablet and Nintendo DS for travel, so do not touch mommy's phone!! That's a no no :)

via CB10 on my AT&T Z10

Would like to see something similar to BlackBerry Balance where nothing can be accessed by the kids. Rather than having to lock everything individually.

Posted Via CB10 -Jack!!

They could partner up with nicolodean or something similar.
I really would like to see BlackBerry partner up with Nintendo to get Mario and the rest DS games on my Z with a game controller in tow.

Posted via CB10

What for?

And for those that have children, there are parental controls available in the os itself directly from BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Only if it was an optional application for installation post purchase or uninstallable for those with no need for it. BB10 does not need another single byte of unremovable crapware.

We let our kids have our previous devices (sans SIM card), so that they don't mess up the ones we currently use.

My problem with a set time limit is that it would cut them off in the middle of a game or show. That seems unnecessarily harsh. We just tell them it's time to put it away after this game or show is over.

If my phone is my lifeline and personal business phone there's no way in hell I'm giving them my phone
Especially a 600$ phone
The kid can cry. But you gotta teach discipline and not cave into the kids every will just because they cry and scream, life doesn't work that way, my parents did that for me and my brother
I rather just buy them dedicated devices that are made for kids. That won't break or short circuit etc

Posted via CB10

I agree. I would never let young kids use such an expensive device....there are plenty of cheap toys out there they can play with.

Posted via CB10

I think it would be a good idea. Have it like the pull down thing for Balance. Instead of having just "Personal" and "Work", they should also have "Kids", and obviously it shouldn't be exclusive to BES. Without BES it could just be "Personal" and "Kids"

Posted via CB10

I think every device should have this. When you hand someone your phone you should feel comfortable that they are only looking at what you want them to see.

Nope. Kids should have their own toys. My BlackBerry is not a child's toy. Playbook nor phone. And kids are certainly not making monthly contributions to the cell bill. Not even an option!

Posted via CB10

I agree, my phone is not a toy...my PB on the other hand. That I wouldn't mind letting kids play with. I do think phones should have a "guest" mode though.

I need this on my PlayBook NOW!!! I have tried to even sideload a few different Android apps that claim to do this but they really don't and my 5 year old knows how to do ALL of the swipe motions to get into everything she wants and she is very inquisitive and curious...it wouldn't be such a problem but I also try to run a business and my PlayBook is one of the tools I use for it along with others...A "Kid Zone" would make my life much happier.

Don't even let me get started with my kids getting ahold of my phone...

How about an option suggesting: My phone is locked, and the kids are forbidden to use it?

Posted via CB10

Nope. I don't need a kids section. Who actually let's the kids touch the crackberry? Nobody touches my phone

Posted Via My Most Used BlackBerry App

My kids used to play with paper and crayons or Legos and other toys.

There's no viable reason for them to use my Z10 or any other smart phone.

If they're bored, then maybe I failed as a parent, by not teaching them creative ways to occupy their time.

Posted via CB10

Give them a soccer ball and directions to the backyard... When they get older, being lazy will be their decision not something you facilitated for them.

As someone with kids, this is a great idea. I wouldn't necessarily let my child use it, but it's good to know that it's there.

BlackBerry needed to have this as part of the PlayBook, but generally yes it should be a feature for BB10 eventually. Tablets tend to be used more as a 'group' device, and are shared more than phones, which are deeply personal. Having this on a phone is great if I want to have a 'limited' profile use if giving my phone to a child, but I still have to (or would) assume parental monitoring of the child while they use it because after all, it is "my phone" and I will want it back when they are done playing. On a tablet - I wouldn't really care - my PlayBook can be left on a coffee table and anyone can pick it up to use / browse / play games / etc the same way my home computer can be accessed by anyone. Having both "multiple sign-in" as well as "restricted profile" features on tablets is IMO a strong requirement, and I'm dissapointed that BB didn't include this as part of the PlayBook development. It doesn't look like they will have much of a BB10 tablet market either given the recent departures and statements made by Thor, so unless there is a practical use for this on handsets, I don't expect it would show up. Though, I always think there is a need to be cognizent of the QNX automotive business as well when discussing BB10 features, and since cars are also 'group' devices, I could see a need for this as well in that space - there are cars today with multiple keyfobs that set preferences for radio stations, seat position, etc depending on who 'unlocks' the car / sets the ignition, so I coudl see teh multi-user facet being incorporated there too.

I believe that kids should have a 'kids zone'. My friend has this program on his Samsung Tablet that locks his tablet into a kids only zone and needs a password to get out or make any changes to it. I would definitely want one on my device(s).

Adam: That is such a cute pic there!!

This will be a must have feature in a couple of years for those with kids. Really a no brainer.

Posted via CB10

Would be better to implement this on BlackBerry Balance than have a separate app for it. I know a few people who don't use BlackBerry for bussiness and would rather use balance for something else

Posted via CB10

Ummmm.... where is the choice for "I don't let my kids on my phone and encourage them to read, but I would like it on my tablet."

Yes! one of the reason my ol lady bought a iPhone. Stunned I know.

Send from my legendary Zed10

Like a home version of BlackBerry Balance, sounds like a great idea that wouldn't be too hard for BlackBerry to implement.

Posted via CB10 on my kickass media-consuming Z10

I don't understand why even ask the question since we all know this is coming in 10.2.
Search the forums peeps.

My PlayBook? Very useful in the shower as a radio and notepad :)

BlackBerry 10 has restrictions and parental controls so in a sense don't they already have a formal of this?

IROC-Z10 But Mostly She Rocks Me!!

My kids know not to touch my phone unless they're making a call with prior permission. My wife's Z is another story. They know more about it than she does! BTW my kids have PlayBooks and take them everywhere!

Posted via CB10

Yes it could be handy. right now though, I don't let my kid play with our phones. He's got to learn that some things are off limits and thats one of them. I also don't have money to replace broken screens etc.

That would be a good thing, my kids are always picking up my devices and playing with them, you just never know what they're going to do.

Posted via CB10

No! Get them an iPhone. :-P

Get "us" adults more useful apps :)

Posted via CB using a Q10

This is sort of why I miss the legacy bridge... if the kid wanted to watch peppa pig, all I had to do was unbridge the phone and let her go for it...

My grands, young niece's and nephews (from two and up) all play with their parents or their own smartphones. That’s where we are as a society.

Posted via CB10

I use this feature on our Windows laptop, and it nice to see how calmly the kid says, "oh, I'm locked out now" and gets ready for bed without any fighting.

One of the earlier posters suggested that parents should set and enforce time limits by interacting with their children directly. That poster was probably a Canadian. Or maybe French. Whatever.

In any event, I don't see the point of owning a phone or tablet if you still have to interact with your family so I say please add the kid zone.

Posted via CB10

I selected option three, because I don't have kids yet, but if I would, I'd rather buy them a dedicated phone or tablet, in stead of letting them borrow my (professional) stuff.

There needs to be one more option to poll. I don't let kids play with my phone. They can play with toys, they can sit and be bored, they can carry on a conversation, but my phone is my phone and it is not a toy for them to chew on, play on, drop, etc.

Not only would a kid zone be a great idea, an Internet filter too. Something like Net Nanny.

This application also needs to be able to lock my kids out of my texting application. Sometimes the coversation between myself and my wife or friends doesnt need to be read by prying minds. If there is already an application please let me know.

Why worry about kids getting into your phone and apps when there are minimal apps available. Glad to see BBRY is pushing big name app development also....do they even care? Are they even listening to their users? Doesn't seem like it. Love my Z10 but this is probably the last BlackBerry device I will purchase for this exact reason and I am a HUGE fanboy. The future looks bleak.

Posted via CB10

Yes A kid Zone would be great for those who let they're kids play with their phones..as for mine hes got his own toys, like the playbook, all you need is a good case and you got a happy kid.

but Again, most people forget that kids get entertained with just about anything, like crayons..cars, whatever it may be, get them to dance...i dunno.......off topic, i know.

Great idea, have the kid put a phone or tablet in its mouth just like in the picture! Wtf is wrong with these so-called parents who think everything is a kid's toy? Phones, tablets, remote car starters, and so forth. Might as well go all out and give the kid the gun to play with. Oh, the hOrRoR!!! Someone said, "Gun." smh