As not all YouTube content is appropriate for kids and site-wide censorship is out of the question, Google launched a children-friendly version of its video sharing website called YouTube Kids.
A kids-only version of the website won’t be launched anytime soon, as Google thought that a mobile app would be more adequate. After all, there are Android tablets for toddlers out there, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the new kids on the block are familiar with mobile devices from a very early age. I don’t see Apple launching a tablet for children, so iPad owners will probably cringe while handing their precious device with the YouTube Kids app running to their offsprings.
The main focus here is on parental control and on ways to prevent youngsters from accessing the dark side of YouTube (if such a thing even exists). While the search giant didn’t launch the app with a specific age range in mind, it’s safe to assume that 3 and 4-year olds will be thrilled with the content available in the app. I mentioned content and not only videos because the ads have been tailored to suit the taste and needs of the little ones, as well.
The built-in timer included in the app enables parents to quantify the amount of time their kids spend watching videos on YouTube. With a range from 30 to 120 minutes, the timer measures the time the app is being open, so kids that will complain that they’ve only watched a video for five minutes should be taught to jump right into it when you give them your tablet. Future updates should stop the timer when the app is in the background, as that is definitely not the case with the current version.
Parents also have sound options at their disposal, in case their kids get a little bit too obsessed with a particular tune. Besides that, it’s great to see that the user interface has been redesigned to include bigger (and fewer) buttons, so that children can learn more easily how to use the app. Overall, Google has done a great job with YouTube for Kids, as the app packs content and functionality that are perfect for toddlers.
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