Putting young children together with the internet is always a dicey proposition. On the one hand as parents, we want to give our children every opportunity to use new technologies and to become familiar with them at an early age. But on the other, the internet is simply not a safe playground, even for teens, much less pre and grade schoolers. Still, connectivity in an age where grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, even parents often live thousands of miles apart, is too hard to resist. Just check the average parent’s Facebook wall. We try to control the situation, but let’s face it, kids understand these new technologies intuitively and gravitate towards them as they do presents under a Christmas tree.
Enter Maily, a new email client for iPad that takes aim at nervous parents and their digitally eager offspring with an app that’s one part safety-oriented contact manager and one part creative composition tool. Using text, drawing tools, stamps, photos and a kid-friendly touch interface, children can send pretty much whatever they can imagine in two dimensions inviting even pre-writers to start emailing. Parents manage the contact list and add photos of each recipient to make inbox management easy for pre-readers. Parents also have power of approval before a message from anyone, beloved or otherwise, is read and of course, they can screen what their kids are sending.