Windows Phone 8 Kid's Corner: hands-on video
Microsoft might not have announced anything groundbreaking at its grand unveiling of Windows Phone 8, but that’s not to say we were completely underwhelmed. Indeed, for anyone who has children, the official confirmation of the new Kid's Corner feature will come as a breath of fresh air.
And while the demo involving Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore's own children appearing on stage was undeniably cheesy, it will have struck a chord with smartphone-owning parents across the world. It certainly did with me, for whom the wheedling question “can I play a game on your phone, daddy?” has become a tiresomely regular refrain of late.
You can see a short demo of the feature in the short video at the top of this blog post, but the idea is really good. Set up involves ticking a few boxes in the Kid's Corner settings, applying a lock so your kids don't unlock the main phone and send your boss a text by accident, or purchase a small fortune's worth of apps and music.
Then all your little devils need to do to get to their protected area is swipe a finger from right to left on the lock screen, and up pops a bright, kiddy-friendly interface, complete with live-tile-equipped home screen, but with only access to the apps you specified earlier.
There’s just one potential pitfall: it's all lovely and safe and cuddly, but giving the kids their own “phone within a phone”, as Belfiore put it, seems likely to give even them an over-inflated sense of ownership over your pride and joy, making it more difficult than ever to prise their sticky fingers from it when you need it most.