Most kids nowadays, particularly those who have Internet access and gadget-toting parents/guardians, have been watching TV shows not on an actual TV anymore but through YouTube. And while the video channel does have filters in place, we all know that “inappropriate” videos slip in every once in a while (okay, a lot of times) when you’re not looking or supervising their viewing time. Google has now finally come up with their first app that is built specifically for children: the YouTube Kids app.
The name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s an app for your Android devices that will make it “safer and easier” for kids to explore videos and shows, and discover topics they’re interested in. The app has four major categories: Shows, Music, Learning, Explore (again, all pretty easy to understand). Some of the kid-friendly channels they’ve probably already subscribed to are in the app as well, like DreamWorksTV, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends, etc. Kids are free to explore their own interests, like whether they’re into science and technology, creative arts, making and building things, or they just want Thomas the Tank Engine travel.
The design is of course, kid-friendly as well, with larger, bolder icons that will make it easier for the little ones to swiipe and watch. It also has voice search so that even those who can’t spell properly yet can still look for videos they want. If you want to limit the kids on the hours they spend on the app, it has a built-in timer that will be the “bad cop” for you. You also get the option to turn off background music and sound effects when you need to concentrate on something while your kid is watching. And if you don’t want them exploring on their own, you also get the option to turn off search and limit them to the videos available on the homescreen.
For now, only US residents will be able to install and access this one-of-a-kind product from Google. You can download YouTube Kids from the Google Play Store for your smartphone or tablet, and of course, everything is absolutely free.