Maily is a new iPad app launched today that aims to be your kids’ first messaging app. Because, you know, kids these days and their busy schedules. Ha! Seriously, Maily is a communication tool that makes it easy for kids to share messages and pictures with family and friends through a streamlined interface that even a little three-year-old can handle, at least according to early testing.
The app reminded me a lot FamJam, HighScore House’s latest creation, backed by 500 startups, which debuted last month. Like FamJam, Maily offers a variety of brushes, pens, stamps, and allows you to take a snapshot of the image on the screen. Co-founder Raphael Halberthal told me there were more features in the works as well, including the ability to add text using different fonts and the ability to send audio messages.
I already noticed that FamJam felt a bit busy for my liking (it was like the Saturday morning cartoons, I said: loud, colorful and a lot to watch). Maily, however, goes the other way around. It’s very basic with few commands. This means that it will probably work best for younger children in the supported age group (3-8 years), but older children might like FamJam because it âseemsâ there is more. to do.
For parents, a password-protected registration system allows them to log into Facebook to quickly sign up and add contacts, so kids can see photos of their family’s faces instead of just names when they go. ‘they send items by email. Parents will also need to know the contacts’ actual email addresses during setup, as this information is not from Facebook.
To send a message, there is a button on the right which the children press to be redirected to the contact list. And when the family member or friend responds, kids are notified via an icon on the left of the app’s main screen, which takes them to their inbox.
What is a little surprising is that the Maily app originates from two founders, Halberthal and Tom Galle, both based in Brussels, who are not parents themselves. In fact, they are not even married with children on the way in the near future. But they’ve really built something interesting here for this demographic.
Since their background is in advertising, I asked Halberthal where the inspiration for the app came from. âWe have a lot of friends who have kids between the ages of three and eight, and we’ve seen that they’re really addicted to tablets and iPads,â he said. “And we were quite amazed.” He said they realized there wasn’t a single communication system designed for kids this age, so they decided to build one.
After eight months of effort, this fully bootstrap application is now available, as a kind of market test. If that takes off, the two founders are set to relocate to the United States, continue development, and possibly raise funds to support further efforts.
The app itself is free and will remain free, but Halberthal says the business model may eventually include in-app purchases or the ability to customize products based on children’s designs. However, he pointed out that these will never be displayed on the child side of the system, only the parent dashboard. “And even if you consider advertising at some point, it would never show up in the children’s environment,” he says. âIt’s really fundamental for us.
The new application is free to download for iPad here.