Get your child their first email account with Maily. This child-friendly version of email – where they can create messages using virtual pencils and crayons (reminding us a bit of the Drawing Pad app) – is a colourful introduction to the concept of email. I say the concept of email – and I’ll swing back to that point towards the end of this review.
How it works Once you have downloaded and installed the free Maily app, you are prompted to first set up an account. Tip: do so with your OWN name – I made the mistake of thinking you set up your kid’s account right from the start. Nah-uh. You only create a profile for your child AFTER you’ve created an account for yourself. You can sign up either via the website OR directly through the app.
Once you’re signed up, you are prompted to set up profiles for your children, and any other friends and family members. Most moms and dads share their iPads with their smaller children so your kid will be able to create, send and receive their Mailys from your iPad through their profile – but if they have their own iPads, download the Maily app to their device as well. Security is a big deal with Maily.
As the primary account holder, you have the power to review all incoming emails to your child’s inbox, as well as outgoing emails. To be honest, the format of these emails is so simplistic – scribbles in crayons, pencils, oversized cartoon characters and colourful backgrounds – I can’t envisage any way that using Maily could pose a threat to a small child. Check out this short video that shows you how Maily is used.
Verdict: it’s certainly a novelty, and will teach a small child the concept of sending and receiving emails. (Think of Maily as a type of WhatsApp dressed up to look like an inbox – it’s not an email account in the literal sense). Once your kids have grasped the idea they’ll get bored quickly.
Download it via iTunes here.