If there’s one thing my kids do a lot of on their tablets, whether it’s at home or out at dinner, it’s watch videos. It could be on Netflix or Youtube or any number of other services, but regardless of it is, they love watching videos. I like letting them watch Netflix because you can set a sub-account up as a kids only account, something that you couldn’t do with YouTube. Well now, there is a dedicated YouTube app just for kids called, YouTube Kids.
the app itself is basically just regular YouTube, but with a kid friendly skin on top that filters out all the inappropriate things. Video are arranged in categories and channels. There are four categories – Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. Each is filled with different channels that your kids can check out. Unlike regular YouTube, you don’t really need to log in here and it doesn’t look like it tracks activity. Parental settings here include a timer to set how long they can watch and a way to disable the search function.
There are however a couple problems with the app. First, it’s not very hard to bypass the parental lock on it. The app spells out the code you need to enter and if your kid can read, they can bypass it easily. That means they can then shut off the timer and also re-enable search if you had disabled it before. Second, there’s no way I can see to customize the channel lineup that’s available. You can’t hide the channels you don’t want and you can’t add any channels that aren’t already there.
Other than that, the YouTube Kids app is a rather good first attempt and I’m sure Google will improve it as time goes on. For now, it’s not a bad app to use for checking out what Google thinks is appropriate for children and for the most part, the shows are decent enough. In the end, if you’re a parent, I’d still just check it out on your own and decide on your own whether or not you think this is a the right app for your kids.
App Store Link: YouTube Kids
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Compatible Devices: (Universal App) Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5 and iPhone 6.
The official YouTube Kids app is designed for curious little minds to dive into a world of discovery, learning, and entertainment. This free app is delightfully simple and packed full of age-appropriate videos, channels and playlists. YouTube Kids features popular children’s programming, plus kid-friendly content from filmmakers, teachers, and creators all around the world.
DESIGNED FOR KIDS
We’ve taken out the complicated stuff and made an app even little ones can navigate — that means big buttons, easy scrolling, and instant full-screen.
VIDEOS KIDS WILL LOVE
Kids can enjoy favorites like Sesame Street, Thomas & Friends, and Dreamworks, online hits like Mother Goose Club, TuTiTu, and Super Simple Songs, plus anything else they’re into — music, gaming, science, crafts, and more.
VIDEOS PARENTS CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT
We’re as focused on kids’ safety as you are, so we’ve built the YouTube Kids app to be a family-friendly place to explore.
When your child browses the app’s home screen, they’ll find a vast selection of kid-appropriate channels and playlists. When families search in the app, we use a mix of input from our users and automated analysis to categorize and screen out the videos that make parents nervous.
And for added peace of mind, parents can quickly notify YouTube if they see anything questionable directly from the app.
SETTINGS FOR PARENTS
You can turn off search for an even more contained experience. Or set the built-in timer to let your kids know when it’s time to stop watching (so you don’t have to). The app puts these settings behind a grown-ups-only lock, out of kids’ reach.
YouTube Kids. Made for curious little minds.
[Source: App Store]