Priya Sengupta is a professional writer & a travel enthusiast who loves exploring new places and pen down the experience. She reviews kids apps and has strong opinions about what a kids app should be like. She wrote up about Roo Kids.
Roo Kids has been marketed as a safe and fun IM (instant messaging app) for kids. What WhatsApp is for adults, Roo Kids is for kids. The app comes with some safety features that allow parents to have control over the interaction. The app is targeted towards kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years. As more parents are looking to provide their kids with a digital exposure from the beginning years, app like Roo Kids is gaining ground.
Kids are meant to chat, share pictures (already on the phone) and send doodles to friends. The app does not facilitate direct camera access but kids can always click a picture from the device’s own gallery and use the picture in the Roo Kids chat box. Other parental controls include setting curfew hours when the life chat is disabled (when it’s time for study or sleep), notification when a contact/group is added and bad word filter (replacing bad words with ****). The messaging/chatting is carried over an SSL server, meaning that there would be no third party intrusion.
Other reviews like on Common Sense Media rates Roo Kids attaches a 4/5 rating to the app.
What can go wrong?
Digital technology has been growing and thus no surprise that kids aren’t quite immune to it. Too much of anything is bad. The only question with Roo Kid is whether it’s just another way to integrate technology into our lifestyle or whether Roo Kids really does some good for kids. True that the app does provide an educational platform with puzzles, games drawing tools and other features. However, it also goes wrong in several facets. The banned word feature for instance is only active only if the concerned work is followed by an exclamation/punctuation. Secondly, parents can set the curfew hours but it doesn’t stop a kid from writing messages, drawing or use the app otherwise. Just the life chat feature is turned off.
Some work is still needed. But, this is an awesome start!
You must have noticed that nowadays kids are greatly fascinated by electronic gadgets of various kinds. With development of science and technology, kids are getting addicted to such things. The coming of smartphones, iPads, iPods and other electronic equipments has become a great source of entertainment for the kids. You will notice that children can spend hour after hour with these gadgets. Rather than running and playing or other physical activities, kids are now more interested in these kinds of devices and the games that can be played there.
In today’s world it is not possible to keep children away from technology, but parents need to know as how to maintain the perfect balance on the use of technology. There should be a fixed time when kids should be allowed to use the devices and equipments during the day or in the week. For instance, smaller kids should be allowed to use and play on these devices on holidays and on weekends for a fixed time. However, older kids might need to use the computer or other sources for their studies etc. Strict parental control is required when your kids are using these devices and gadgets.
Using smartphones, iPads, and computers with internet connectivity without parental vigilance can lead to serious problems as the kid might fall into a trap unknowingly. With children knowing about social media, they might want to look for their friends and talk to them online. However, this might attract attention of fraudsters and might create problems.
Roo Kids is a great instant messaging app for kids where they can talk to their friends. The best thing about the app is that it has very strong parental controls. The app can is available at https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/roo-kids/id853763668?mt=8. When such apps are developed, you can let your kid use technology without any kinds of fears.
Image Courtsey: Lexie Flickinger & flickingerbrad; Flickr.com; Creative Commons