Hey, companies, tablets are family devices too!

By Anne Collier

Someone should find out how many parents there are at Apple, Amazon, and other tablet makers. But maybe it doesn’t matter – no matter how many there are, they’re just not thinking like parents in designing and marketing iPads, Kindles, and other tablet devices. They need to stop compartmentalizing their lives so much and put on their parent hats at work! Because tablets are every bit as much family devices as personal ones. As parent, blogger, and search engine expert Danny Sullivan writes in “Why do Amazon and Apple hate families?”, “My wife desperately wishes she didn’t have all our kids’ apps cluttering her [iTunes] account [for iPads as well as iPhones, of course]. A friend of hers was recently telling me the exact same wish, how she didn’t want all these apps on her phone. How can they transfer them to their kids? They can’t…. Then there’s the Kindle,” Sullivan further writes. He’s owned one for less than a year, has grown to love it, but Amazon only lets family members and friends do what comes very naturally with books – share them – with a small percentage of the books it sells for the Kindle. That’s absurd, when people are spending almost as much for the Kindle versions as they are for the kind with paper and printing costs but without the same built-in sharing privileges. Sullivan calls for kids’ iTunes accounts (separate apps, same billing) or family accounts (how about like what the mobile carriers provide) with separate sign-ins and family and friend lending. That may sound daunting, authentication-wise, but account holder could provide authentication without sharing his/her password (we certainly don’t want to encourage password-sharing; see this).] Who wants to start a digital petition?!

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