I thought we’d laid to rest the idea of Millie getting her own tablet for Christmas, but it reared its expensive head again at the weekend.
Fortunately, my nerd skills and knowledge have come to the rescue.
More recent versions of Android (the free Google software that Android phones and tablets run) have a feature called User Profiles. Set up Profiles on a Nexus 7 tablet and everyone gets “their own tablet” – except the girls’ Profiles can be restricted.
It’s a bit like giving them their own room to decorate: a separate part of the tablet with individual wallpaper, apps, settings, etc.
But the “Restricted” part allows me to limit what apps they have access to (meaning no Facebook, no Twitter, and no Reddit – not yet).
They do have YouTube (because YouTube is the go-to site for all their Barbie Life In The Dream House needs) but even that has the Safe Settings activated to filter out anything really inappropriate, in case anyone should accidentally search for “boys willys“.
Millie was all “Mm, yeah, thanks,” when I explained it, but when I showed her how it worked she loved it. In the last 24 hours she’s learned more about how the tablet works than in the past year.
And, of course, 30 minutes after I set up a profile for Millie, Amber came in asking for one too. Both of them are absolutely fascinated by it.
So now they each have “their own tablet” and have personalised everything: setting up their desktops, changing the wallpaper, adding their favourite games and changing the screen transition animations. Millie’s even started adding widgets!
And both of them are well on the way to understanding a little more of Android’s inner workings.
It’s really rather an elegant solution.