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First kids' tablet allows parents to control screen time

Amazon is soon to launch its first ever tablet aimed at kids - the Fire HD Kids Edition.

As well as featuring a more robust build, the tablet gives parents options to help manage screen time and encourage learning goals.

Amazon's Fire HD Kids Edition. Credit: Amazon/Business Wire

The tablet also has the option of blocking in-app payments - avoiding the headache of children racking up bills via online games.

Amazon says it also comes with over 5,000 books, movies, TV episodes, educational apps, and games.

Prices start at $149 (£92) but there are no confirmed plans to launch the product in the UK yet.

Amazon's full range of new products

Amazon has announced the imminent arrival of six new devices:

  • Kindle Voyage - the new top-end e-reader is less than 8mm thick and weighs just 180 grams (6.4oz) - £169
  • Kindle - The updated original e-reader featuring double the storage space and a touch display - £59
  • Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 - The new top-of-the-range tablet with better sound and faster graphics - £329
  • Kindle Fire HD - Essentially a smaller version of the HDX, Fire HD comes in two sizes and five colours - £79 for six-inch, £119 for seven-inch
  • Kids Edition - a child-proof Fire HD with options for parents to set time limits on gaming - no confirmed UK launch

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Amazon unveils range of new e-readers and tablets

Amazon has unveiled a slew of new devices including updated versions of its popular Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet lines.

The new Fire HDX tablet Credit: Amazon/Business Wire

The online retail giant announced Kindle Voyage, which is says is its thinnest and highest-resolution e-reader yet.

The company also showed off three new tablets for the first time, including a new tablet - the Fire HDX 8.9 - which is in direct competition with Apple's iPad.

It also announced a Kids Edition of the tablet that runs a simplified mobile operating system that is icon-based designed for younger users to take advantage of apps and other media.

11m adults 'check phone as soon as they wake up'

Some 11 million adults in the UK are so obsessed with their smartphone they check it as soon as they wake up, research has shown.

According to Deloitte:

  • The majority (67%) of 18 to 24-year-olds check their devices within 15 minutes of getting out of bed.
  • Most smartphone owners first check their text messages, but 25% of users go to their email first, while 14% get straight onto social networks.
  • The 18 to 24-year-old age group are the most intensive users, checking their device on average 53 times a day.
  • In comparison 65 to 75-year-olds only check their device a mere 13 times a day on average.

27% of drivers 'nearly hit pedestrian because of mobile'

Around one in every four motorists has almost hit a pedestrian because they were distracted by their mobile phone while behind the wheel, according to fresh research.

Pedestrians and drivers are becoming less aware because of their phones, researchers found. Credit: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Data collected by a financial services website exposed just how many people have put themselves in danger by checking their smartphone while walking or driving.

About one in every seven (14%) pedestrians said they had crossed the road without looking because they were busy with a mobile or smartphone, Confused.com found.

Nearly one third (31%) of pedestrians has not properly checked for oncoming traffic because they were looking at their phone, researchers said.

Last year, 24,033 pedestrians were injured crossing on UK roads - with the number killed increasing by 3% year on year.

Apple unleashes iOS 8 update amid app gold rush

Apple has released its new iOS 8 software update for iPhones and iPads this evening in preparation for the company's new line of products.

Developers have rushed to release updated apps, while others have moved onto Apple's new platform for the first time, as it was made available.

App gold rush as Apple unleashes iOS 8 update. Credit: Apple

The Guardian reported that Facebook has already updated its app, while popular Android keyboard apps Swype and SwiftKey have made the leap to the Apple ecosystem for the first time.

But a number of people have already complained on Twitter that the 1.1 GB update is taking longer that expected to download.

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Dixons Carphone hopes to take on 800 Phones 4u staff

Dixons Carphone has offered to take on 800 of the 5,600 staff who faced being out of work after the collapse of mobile phone retailer Phones 4u.

The jobs are for staff who currently work at Phones 4u concessions within Currys/PC World stores, which were recently taken over by Dixons Carphone.

A statement on the company website said: "With regards to our Phones 4U shop-in-shop colleagues we hope to help them secure new roles with us and are opening up discussions with the administrators to agree our position."

Dixons Carphone also tweeted that roles could be available for Phones 4u staff at Carphone Warehouse and Dixons.

More hope was offered by reports that network operators Vodafone and EE may be willing to buy part of Phones 4u's business.

Apple Watch 'could distract motorists at wheel'

The new Apple Watch Credit: PA Wire

Drivers could put themselves and others at risk by using the Apple Watch while behind the wheel, a road safety charity claims.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists said the watch, which will allow users to make and receive calls and check messages by operating the device on their wrists, could be a major cause of distraction that could impair driving performance.

"Constant alerts will require motorists' regular attention. As opposed to using a legal hands-free piece of equipment, the (Apple) iWatch will require drivers to use two hands to operate the device - impacting speed, lane position and time spent looking at the road," the IAM said.

IAM policy and research director Neil Greig warned that police have the power to seize and interrogate devices in the event of a serious crash.

"The very device that distracted you also has the power to convict you," he said.

Nasa to focus on sending humans to Mars

Nasa is to focus on sending humans to Mars after announcing that contracts for transporting Americans to the International Space Station have been awarded to Boeing and SpaceX.

Nasa is to focus on sending humans to Mars. Credit: NASA

In a statement Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said: "Turning over low-Earth orbit transportation to private industry also will allow Nasa to focus on an even more ambitious mission – sending humans to Mars."

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