There are lots of ways for children to create on an iPad – pictures in particular. Sharing can be a bit more problematic: post-to-Facebook or Twitter features are out of the question for younger kids, and do you really want to let your children loose on your email account?
Here’s one possible solution: Maily. It’s a free iPad app for children that’s just gone live in the UK – “the first email client dedicated to kids aged 4 and older” as the developer puts it.
This isn’t just about text, though. Maily is as much a drawing app, with colours, virtual brushes and stickers for children to create visual messages, with the ability to take photos to add in too.
They can then send the results to their parents, grandparents and other relations, using contacts that you set up within the app, including little photos of each person to help younger children choose who to send something to.
Maily also has its own inbox, so children can see emails sent to them by those contacts. And as the parent, you get a dashboard – accessed from a web browser – to keep an eye on what your children have been sending and receiving, as well as replying to their emails.
We love the idea, and we’re impressed by the effort Maily has put in to making the app easy to use, but also safe. However, the app is free, which makes us wonder how Maily is planning to make money from it.
We asked co-founder Tom Galle, and he confirmed that there are no adverts or in-app purchases in the iPad app itself – the part used by children. The company intends to keep Maily free for as long as possible.
“Our revenue model would be to develop some kind of store, available for parents and adult contacts, who will be able to buy features for their kids. They can give them presents, which are new features in the app,” he says.
“Selective advertising on the adult interfaces is also an alternative or complementary option. But both potential income sources would be activated only after we reach a certain amount of regular users.”