Jmz Software, comprised of Bret Zamzow and James Taylor, famous for
the ‘70s song “Fire and Rain” the popular app TWRP Manager recently published a launcher that should make it easier for parents to share their Android phones with their children. Provided that parents are willing to part with their phones for more than just a few minutes, they can feel more at ease letting their children play with them since they can use Jmz Kid Mode to restrict which apps they can see.
At present, the launcher is very minimal, providing a simple grid of app cards from which children can launch the apps of their choice. Despite said simplicity, the app is much more flexible than Android’s built-in app pinning feature, allowing children to choose any of the apps displayed in the parent-curated launcher selection as opposed to just one app pinned from Recents. Speaking of Recents, that feature cannot be accessed while Jmz Kid Mode is active (otherwise one could easily switch to a previously-used app that’s not on the, ahem, parent-approved list – “So the Best Buy app has Daddy’s credit card number in it already? Time for some binge shopping!”). The status bar is also inaccessible, lest some clever pre-tween find a way to bypass Kids Mode through Settings.
Jmz Kid Mode, of course, isn’t the only child-centric launcher available, but it is arguably the simplest, with no in-app purchases and no ads, and with only three permissions requested. The app only needs the ability to disable access to the status bar, disable access to Recents and do a license check for the app itself. It won’t ask you for access to the Internet, to your contacts, to your dialer or any of the often-requested but unnecessary permissions common to Android apps these days.
Users can look forward to more features as development continues to progress, though not at the expense of needing to request new permissions. For example, we should eventually see wallpapers added to break the monotony of white cards on a white background.
Jmz Kid Mode is available for a mere $1.99 in the Play Store, so feel free to kick the tires and let us know what you think in the comments section below!