Talking Tech - April 16:
Microsoft’s Edge browser is rolling out a kids edition; Spotify introduces the ‘Car Thing’


Keep kids from exploring too much of the Internet

If you share your laptop or desktop with a younger family member, now you can force the browser into a kids mode so they can only visit approved sites. The Windows version locks the browser so it’s the only thing the kid can access. It comes with an ‘allowed’ list of 70 popular kids sites which you can modify. If they try to visit a site not on the list, the adult can approve that site with their password. It also forces kids into a safer version of Bing search.

Netflix has made kids updates too. It’s trying to make the experience more visual – coz not all kids can read! The interface adds additional images of characters around the show art to help kids better identify what they want to watch.

Spotify’s dedicated streaming device fo your car

It’s called a thing because it’s a new kind of device.. it’s a car screen or a car interface designed for cars that don’t have the latest and greatest in connectivity options.

Basically you connect it to your phone through Bluetooth – that’s how it connects to the internet – then connect your phone to your car using Bluetooth or an auxiliary cable.

The idea is your can put your phone away and just use this Spotify Car Thing to control your music. It’s got a giant knob on the right hand side, and four physical buttons on the top to preset your favorite playlists, albums or podcast. It’s got a dedicated mute button too. It responds to your voice too, using “Hey Spotify”.

What is the purpose? I guess it means you can keep your eyes on the road with voice functions dedicated to Spotify. It’s not super elegant though as you need to plug the Car Thing into 12V of power. Otherwise, mounting your phone is kind of the same thing.. which might be why it’s launching as a free device, because it really just makes Spotify more prominent in your car. It’s US only at the moment.


Paul Stenhouse is the Technology Contributor on Newstalk ZB’s ‘Saturday Morning with Jack Tame’.

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