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How Kindle Fire FreeTime Unlimited actually works

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Initial post: Dec 7, 2012 5:21:09 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
Another customer has posted incorrect information about Kindle Fire FreeTime Unlimited. I tried out the feature last night and discovered the following:

As you are signing up you can read the Terms of Service:

"If you cancel your subscription, you will receive a prorated refund, and you will no longer have access to subscription content you may have used or downloaded previously unless you purchase it separately."

"The content available in the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited subscription may change at any time. We cannot guarantee that any specific book, movie, TV show, app or game will remain available via the subscription."

You get to use the content for FREE - certain books, videos and apps.
I disconnected from Wifi and I can still read the books that I have opened.

If wireless is off and you try to open something that has NOT been downloaded it prompts for the password before connecting wifi.

Also, when you leave FreeTime (with a password), you don't see all the kid's books and videos on the carousel.
And you can cancel any if it's not getting used, no year long contract or anything like that.

Maybe other people can add more details as they use it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 5:50:16 AM PST
Cassie Anne says:
Thank you for doing this, Pat. I misunderstood the program (sounded too good to be true) and this will help me help other customers.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 6:01:52 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
At Pat's request, I'm adding the following description of the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited subscription service to this thread.

Having used the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited for several days, perhaps this will help.

I had already set up a user profile for my 8 y/o daughter in the Kindle FreeTime app and enabled a number of books, apps, and videos for her that I already owned. After the most recent update (7.2.2) when I opened KFT I was given the option of subscribing to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited. I took the option.

This triggers the addition of numerous apps, books, and videos that I/my daughter can access FREE OF ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGE. The items appear along with the content I had already enabled. Tested the feature with multiple videos ("The Best of Peabody and Sherman," Great!) Opened and used apps and books, both those I had already purchased and items included in with the "Unlimited" subscription.

Nothing has to be "purchased," though I assume if I wanted to do so I could simply by exiting Kindle FreeTime and purchasing the items, downloading them to my KFHD, and then enabling those items for my daughter's user profile. Does the "Unlimited" content include every item my child might want? Of course not. No more than Prime Video Streaming includes every movie I might want to see.

In fact, the Kindle Free Time Unlimited subscription works very much like Prime.

() It includes a selected set of videos that can be streamed to the device. Much as Prime provides such a selected set of videos.
() It provides access to books in a manner analogous to the Kindle Fire Lending Library except that there is no "one book per month" limit.
() It enables access to a variety of apps, some of which would be free if I downloaded them from the Amazon Appstore. Some would be paid apps. "In app purchasing" is automatically disabled in the apps.

That's it, folks. As long as I maintain the monthly subscription to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited I/my daughter has access to these apps, videos, and books. Nothing in the subscription service forces me to purchase these items. In fact, it is not even possible to purchase the items while in the Kindle FreeTime app environment. I assume that the content available in the subscription service will change from time to time, just as Amazon's offerings of streaming videos and books available for KOLL change. If an item is removed from the subscription offerings but still available from Amazon I assume I can purchase it, just as I can purchase a video a book or video that I had borrowed/streamed as a result of my Prime membership.

Frankly, I don't see anything in Amazon's advertising that is deceptive or incorrect. Like Prime, Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is a subscription service for content. It includes a selected set of videos, apps, and books. It does not require (or even make it possible) for my daughter to PURCHASE the content offered. If I wish to unsubscribe to the service and want to retain content my daughter has had access to, I simply have to purchase that content from the Amazon Appstore. Once purchased, I can enable that content for my daughter in Kindle FreeTime. End of story.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 8:54:46 AM PST
jarand says:
Thank you for the clarification. Sounds like Kindle Fire will make perfect Christmas presents for the kiddos!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:01:42 AM PST
Sheila (NJ) says:
Thanks, that is the exact opposite of what another thread said about free time and is more in line what I thought it was going to be when I read the description. I appreciate your clarification.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 9:41:51 AM PST
BookWorm101 says:
Very well stated! Every detail you related is exactly how I understood kindle freetime to work. After reading a few threads about how Amazon was supposely "misleading in their advertisement", I realized that people weren't comprehending what they read or they just want everything for free. If anyone cannot understand Amazon description of kindle freetime, then they are missing out on a great service. I love that this service has been created for my kids. Thanks Amazon!

Posted on Dec 8, 2012 5:52:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2012 5:53:20 AM PST
OK. I'm testing this out right now. I have 2 Kindle Fires so I'll compare my normal search vs. FreeTime Unlimited...

FreeTime Unlimited - content automatically loaded
Normally - takes about 10 seconds to get to kid-oriented content -- Amazon does such a great job of organizing their content in the first place

The actual content itself...let' looks the same either way...both free & for-purchase

Ok, now for the cost...I have 2 Kindle Fires, so it looks like I'd need the subscription for more than one device
The normal way = $0
FreeTime Unlimited = $9.99/month or $119.88/year
(based on not having Prime, which I'm cancelling because the free books/videos via Prime aren't accessible content when using FreeTime)

I guess this is where I'm confused. It takes me a few seconds to get to the kid-oriented content now. The subscription fee doesn't appear to actually provide access to any of the for-purchase content - i.e. I'd still have to purchase the content.

I'm not sure what "unlimited access" is referring to. It does provide me "access" to content that I would then still have to purchase. In that sense, I already have "unlimited access" to this content...I'm looking at it right now on the Kindle without FreeTime Unlimited.

So what exactly is the value of FreeTIme Unlimited?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 6:28:34 AM PST
If you log out of FreeTime, can't you then get your free books/videos via Prime? I don't see why not. Do you need to have FreeTime unlimited on both of your Fires? Are they for 2 different children? I am only getting it for one Fire, and for one of the accounts on it, my children can all use it. For $35.88 a year, my children can read, watch, and play anything they want that is available in the app, and I don't have to have a single worry that they will accidentally buy something. Also while they are logged into the app, I don't have to worry about any of my adult content showing up in the carousel. There are over 15,000 items they can access at will, at this time, and I am sure that number will grow. I think it is a fantastic deal. I am SO glad I got the Kindle Fire 2 when it was $129. I can hardly wait to give it to my 7 & 9 yo girls Christmas morning!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:01:35 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
I believe you would be better served by downloading Kids Place - Parental Controls from the Amazon Appstore and use it in conjunction with the standard parental controls on the KF rather than using Kindle FreeTime.

Kids Place provides an interface similar to Kindle FreeTime. It does not provide features such as the use timer but it will enable your children to access Prime Videos. (You simply enable Prime Videos from within the app.) Used in combination with other features you can block purchases while still providing streaming capabilities.

Kids Place - Parental Control

Posted on Dec 8, 2012 7:29:55 AM PST
Anna says:
I am seeing a few problems already, that I wanted to point out for others. I have a 4 year old, a 5 year old, and a 7 year old set up with log ins. The app content is different for each.

It is giving my 4 year old books which require me to read them to her. What I find silly is that some of the books in my 7 year olds library, are age approiate for my 4 year old (toy story) but they do not show up for her. I have no idea why not, since it's not like she is able to read the "curious george" book that it does give her.

The second thing, is that there is no ability to remove content. Spongebob is showing up in my son's profile. Spongebob is banned from my home due to rudeness, and pure stupidity. There needs to be a way to edit the carousel content, or I definately will not pay for this as a feature.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:34:48 AM PST
Mmmmn...I think you pay for all or nothing, like turning on Nickelodeon. You get what you get. I think jsh is right; I have done fine with 1) the parental controls, and 2) Kids Place.

But primarily, just supervision does the trick. The FreeTime "feels" (to me, mind you) like turning on Nickelodeon and hoping for the best.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:35:38 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
" The subscription fee doesn't appear to actually provide access to any of the for-purchase content - i.e. I'd still have to purchase the content."

I don't know where you are in this but if you go into the kid's profile you have access to many books, apps and videos. You don't have to pay anything for them. You can ONLY view them when in the FreeTime app.

For example with Unlimited you can view this book without paying for it Jumanji

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:36:19 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
"If you log out of FreeTime, can't you then get your free books/videos via Prime? "

I don't think so. When I log out of FreeTime I do not see the books I downloaded on my Fire.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:39:08 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
I think the age appropriate business is tricky.
It seems to also recommend stuff based on gender.

As far as Sponge Bob I would tell the children they are not allowed to watch it and keep an eye on them. When my son was that age he knew that certain cartoons were off limits. If I left the room and came back to find he had turned on the cartoon, then the TV went off immediately and stayed off for a long time. Even a 4 year old can understand "do not click on Sponge Bob".

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:40:29 AM PST
Ooooh. So if I have FreeTime, and my kid gets Jumanji through the app, if he signs out, that title is "locked" behind the doors of FreeTime? Interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:42:36 AM PST
jsh1120 says:

You're correct. In this respect Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is similar to using the Kindle Owner Lending Library where you can "borrow" a book for your Kindle but you cannot access that same book via the Kindle app on another device (e.g. the iPad.) In effect KFTU is a kind of "closed environment." You can add items you've purchased (via the standard Kindle FreeTime app) but you cannot "extract" the content provided by the "Unlimited" subscription to the non-FreeTime environment.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:43:43 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
Yes, that's correct. Of course if you PURCHASE Jumanji you can enable it in the standard FreeTime app.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:47:33 AM PST
Okay, I see. The Kids Place is a closed environment, too, but you either enable books, (all books) or not. Nice that the Free Time will let you add in what you'd like from your own library.

I do think there will continue to be outcry about not being able to "block" content that FT "thinks" your kids want, but that the parents don't agree (ie SpongeBob). Still. I think it's a pretty cool service.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 7:59:49 AM PST
jsh1120 says:
Yes, you're right. The greatest weakness of "Kids Place" is the lack of a filter on books. It's full or no access. Unfortunately, the Kids Place developers can't solve the "50 Shades of Gray" issue because the filtering of books is not available to a third party app.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 8:15:02 AM PST
Just Peachy says:
It may not be the perfect solution for everybody but I think it is a great benefit to many people.

I was thinking about how some parents are saying "But it's Little Johnny's Fire and I can't tell him he can only use it in the living room." When I was a teenager I babysit for a family with 3 girls. They little ones were preschoolers at the time. They were given some Play-Doh. They were not allowed to keep it in their room and could only play with it with supervision. Was it dangerous? Not to the kids so much but it was dangerous to the carpet! The mom knew that 5 minutes alone with Play-doh would ruin her carpet and probably a few other items in the house. It was a simple solution and worked well. The kids knew to ask when they wanted to play with the play-doh. All the taller people in their lives would make time to play with them at the table.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 5:52:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 7:10:44 AM PST

ETA: Because I think it's a good reference thread for the frustrated.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 11:22:50 AM PST
Marty McFly says:
so if i have two kindles fire hd 7 under the same amazon account is it 2.99 a month or do i have have to pay 5.98 to have unlimited on each kindle fire hd 7

Posted on Dec 24, 2012 6:50:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2012 6:59:11 AM PST
Gary Johnson says:
From what I understand its $6.99 a month if you are a prime member, and that will cover up to 6 kindles. I am really impressed with Freetime Unlimited. I see the point up there about Spongebob (I love spongebob btw :) but in reality, like someone said, tell them no spongebob! If they can't respect your rules, I would rethink handing them a device like this. I'm willing to bet it won't be long before my 9 year old could lock me out of his kindle, it wasn't long before my 15 year old nephew locked me out of my computer (ha-ha...). If I had to choose between my kids stumbling across a harmless cartoon over say, the Amazon store (and my credit card), or some of my books I read on true crime, and serial killers... I will pick Spongebob every time! As far as the price goes I think it is worth it, even if you can't keep whatever you downloaded while using it. I got my daughter 5 Ivy and Bean books which are normally 3.74 a piece. That already makes the 6.99 worth it, and that isn't even counting the boys Kindle's, or video's and whatnot. She can delete them when she is done to save space, I find kids don't typically reread the same books the way adults do!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 2:14:29 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2012 2:20:06 PM PST
Just Peachy says:
The Spongebob issue is a personal opinion.
If you do not want your child to not watch Spongebob tell them no and/or sit with them while they watch.
You can download free apps for music.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
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Initial post:  Dec 7, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 21, 2015

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