Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even older siblings have all likely dealt with handing their smartphones over to young children. No matter if they want to play games or watch cartoons or record funny noises, you're handing over a very personal device to those who can mess up what they don't know.
The Galaxy S5 was ready to ship with Kids Mode, a playful launcher and restriction service to allow safe use for kids. But for whatever reason, this mode was never shipped with the final device build. Today, I'm going to show you how to install, enable, and use Kids Mode.
The first thing you'll need to do in enable installation from "Unknown sources". To do that, head to Settings -> Security, and place a check next to Unknown sources.
Once the additional files have downloaded, hit the home button and select TouchWiz home (or your other third-party stock launcher), since you most likely don't want Kids Mode to be your default. Now, open your app drawer and launch the app, then go through the configuration prompts.
You'll start by setting up a PIN and backup password:
Then assign a "Kid's profile" for your little one, and allow which apps you want to provide access to, after which you're ready to roll:
Kids Mode is basically a striped down launcher, with some serious parental controls. But before we get into that, let's quickly explore what it looks like, starting with the home screen. Swipe once to the right to unveil a clock widget and a dino-alligator-thingy. Tap him, and your child can customize its appearance.
Back on the main home screen, you'll see the apps you've allowed in little gift boxes which your child can tap to unwrap. These are accompanied by five standard apps: Gallery, Media Player, Doodle, Sound Recorder, and Camera.
Back on the main home screen, you'll see two icons toward the bottom on the screen, each of which will require your PIN to access—Settings, and Exit.
Exit is easy enough—it allows you to leave Kids Mode and return to your normal launcher. Settings will let you monitor activity, set play limits, add more apps, enable media, download more apps, and more.
Simply tap the three-bar menu button on the top left-hand side to access these options.
Personally, I think this is a great feature, and will definitely use it the next time my nephew asks to play games on my phone. The fact that they can literally not mess up a thing on my device is a great relief, and because the S5 is built like a brick, I'll have nothing to worry about with those grubby hands on my expensive smartphone.