Kids Mode begins as a widget and ultimately ends up a way to child-proof your Galaxy S5. Samsung touts Kids Mode as offering "fun and safe content for children." It comes with a few preset options, and parents also have the ability to whitelist other apps. Perhaps key here -- this is all PIN protected, which means you don't have to worry about your important files being moved and/or deleted.
First things first, the installation and setup process. As mentioned, Kids Mode begins as a widget. You simply tap the widget to begin the installation process. Kids Mode is a 61.3MB file and once downloaded and installed -- you can begin the setup process. This consists of setting a four digit PIN, entering some basics about the kid's profile, accepting the terms and whitelisting any apps.
Kids Mode offers access to the camera as well as a painting and video app and a voice recorder. There is also a Kids Store where you can add additional learning apps and games. As for the apps you can whitelist during the setup -- you can list up to 30 apps, and they can also be adjusted after the initial setup by heading to the Parental Control section (found in the lower right corner).
The Parental Control section also allows you to set daily time limits, whitelist videos and change the PIN. Parents can also monitor usage, which shows the total playtime and the most used applications. Just like the initial setup, the parental controls seem easy enough to navigate.
The image you see sitting just above is the 'home screen' for Kids Mode. As you'll notice, it provides a fun looking layout. Some smaller, but nice touches include the following;
- From the above left screenshot; you can tap on some items to have them animate and make some noise.
- Any whitelisted apps initially show with a present as the icon (seen below). The icon will then 'open' when tapped to reveal the actual app icon.
Once the kids are in the app the friendly design carries through. The gallery below offers a look at the different options including the camera setup, drawing, voice recorder and video section. And as a reminder to parents -- you will see an "add video" message unless you whitelist a video ahead of time.
And nicely, exiting Kids Mode requires you to put in a PIN code.
Bottom line here, Kids Mode was easy to setup, easy to manage and perhaps key -- it makes handing your smartphone to your child becomes a worry free task. And at least in our experience, we didn't have any complaints from the child (age 6). Though, she did occasionally ask for an app to be approved for her use.