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Kindle Fire...can it be set up for audiobooks only w/o the kids' app?

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Is it possible to set up a Kindle Fire so it can ONLY be used for audiobooks (Audible, Overdrive, and Librivox)?  I know the pre-loaded kids' app won't allow any of those.  I had a Kindle Fire for myself very briefly and really hated it and sent it back, but I've been thinking that maybe it would be worth getting another one just for a kids' tablet...but only if I can easily set it up to limit my kids to just the apps I want them to have access to.

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Yes,  you can choose which apps to install, and require it to be unlocked with a password before any apps are added.

 

I unsubscribed from the trial of "Free Time" that comes loaded for kids - the apps were dumb, and there was no way to listen to audiobooks while in Free Time. So I just was selective about what I put on device instead. My son has access to email, Draw Something (he plays with me), books, Audible, and things like the calendar and calculator. He mostly carries it around and listens to audiobooks.

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I haven't modified our Kindle Fire yet (who has time?!?), so I just turn on the book that the kids want to listen to and then lock the screen so that they can't play with it. They also can't pause it or turn it off, so this method has some definite downsides...

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I use the Parental Controls on the device. I can turn off internet, wifi, all social media, the camera, I don't remember what else. Obviously you would have to turn some of that on (wifi) to download ebooks, but then I think you can turn it back off while they listen.

 

It can be tricky if you use your Amazon account for items you don't want to share. I haven't figured that out - just hasn't been an actual issue so far.

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You are able to turn on/off most of the features in the parental controls, but you cannot discriminate which apps. Audiobooks are separate, so your *audible* audiobooks are going to be controlled by turning on/off the audiobooks in parental controls. All the other audiobook services will depend on whether the book checked out through amazon (which some libraries do, even if they use Overdrive) or whether you're accessing the book through a specific app (BARD, Overdrive, LA, etc.). Obviously if you turn off apps, those apps will be off.

 

I keep the apps off almost all the time on my ds' device and audiobooks work just fine. I use a reader from the National Library Service for his BARD books. It's easy for me to load the books onto a $4 USB thumb drive to use in the NLS reader. Actually he's using it right now to go to bed because I downloaded him a new book. It's a Susan Bartoletti book on Hitler and Youth. We'll see if it gives him nightmares, lol. 

 

If you want BARD, Learning Ally, and Overdrive on your dc's kindle but not the other apps, just don't load the other apps, kwim? I add and remove apps from devices a LOT. My ds will get stuck on one, so it just basically disappears, poof. Be ruthless. If that is the holdup, don't even put on other apps that are not for school work. Quizlet is fab on the Kindle. We use the timer and alarms a lot. There could actually be some good reasons to leave apps on and just not load play apps save for the occasions when you want them to be able to play. It's all really up to you.

 

You can access the parental controls in settings. Once you do it the first time and set a password, it will be available through the pulldown quick menu system where downloads and wifi and things show. I use this ALL THE TIME. 

 

I agree, the kindle would not be the device of choice for me. It's a little slow, and I like my iphone, imac, ecosystem. But, you know, for a kid who uses tech HARD, who might get angry and throw things, who might dunk it in a tub, etc., etc., having a device that does as much as this does and being able to get into it for around $80-120 is astonishing. He uses it for ebooks too. Just so, so useful. 

 

And remember, if your pricepoint is free and you just want the books, fill out the paperwork and get registered for BARD/National Library Service. Dyslexics have a print disability and are eligible! They send terrific quarterly catalogs of new offerings. We always find great stuff, and it's totally free, including the reader device, headphones, etc. Once I really got NLS/BARD going, I canceled by audible membership. I have a book now I'm dickering about, because BARD doesn't yet have it. But we could wait, or maybe I'll renew for a while. BARD doesn't have everything, but they have a lot!

Edited by OhElizabeth

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