Zoodles, which creates a browser designed for kids, has taken its child-friendly technology mobile today with a free app for Android smartphones. The Zoodles app aggregates hundreds of educational games, videos and puzzles into the app. The app also automatically locks the child into the app, so curious children cannot accidentally make calls, erase emails or access other applications on the phone.
Similar to Zoodle’s web-based app, the mobile app adapts content to each child based on age, skills, the device they are using, and custom parental controls so they can play without needing help from an adult. For example, if a child is not yet able to read, Zoodles will only present content where no reading is required.
Zoodles for Android allows users to create an account, or log in using an existing Zoodles account. Once the app is launched, a child logs in by tapping their picture (no reading required), and selects from a scrolling menu of activities. Zoodles automatically recognizes the Android device and presents the right content for that phone. For example, Android users with Flash installed will have access to games built in Flash, plus videos and more. For those without Flash, Zoodles will videos and others non-Flash content.
The brainchild of Mark Williamson, Zoodles aims to allows children to play and interact with the web through games, puzzles and videos. The inspiration for Zoodles came from Williamson’s four year old daughter, who was having trouble interacting with a mainstream browser. Zoodles is free for all but also offers a premium membership that allows parents the ability to customize and restrict their child’s online learning experience based on their age, interests, educational needs and skills.
Zoodles is steadily gaining traction as parents are looking for kid-friendly ways to introduce computing to young children. The startup has just crossed over 1 million hours of playtime on its products. And Zoodles plans to launch an iPad app soon.