KidZui 4 looks the same, but has back-end changes

KidZui's closed-system browser for children upgrades to version 4, but fans of the program won't notice many changes initially.

KidZui's closed-system browser for children upgrades to version 4, but fans of the program won't notice many changes initially. Available for Windows and Mac and as a Firefox extension, the update encompasses a range of changes, including optimization for Netbooks, client- and server-side caching, simplified animations, and a number of bug fixes. Most importantly, the program is supposed to run faster, although that was hard to judge from 10 minutes of use. It's not slower, though.

KidZui 4 looks a lot like KidZui 3, but with a few options to better control the clutter.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

The big changes that kids and their parents will pick up on mainly involve smoother integration between the interface and the features. There's now a grid button on the bottom right that allows kids to jump back to their most recent search results after they've proceeded to a page. Videos now can be set to auto-play in the default mode as well as the maximized "Go Big" mode. The Explore and Friends navigation bars on the left and right side are now minimizable, expanding screen real estate for larger video and image viewing. This last change is significant since KidZui's interface can often feel cluttered and chaotic.

Changes to the social-networking tools include removing online/offline notifications from the Event stream in MyKidZui, which creates more space for tags and sharing with friends. Kids can also add an unlimited number of channels to keep track of. Overall, though, the program feels like it hasn't changed much since version 3, and that's a good thing for fans.

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