Google Unveils Kid-Friendly Version Of YouTube Mobile App
Google officially announced YouTube Kids, the new kid-friendly version of the YouTube mobile app. This marks the first time that the company has released a children-oriented product that was developed exclusively in-house.
The YouTube Kids mobile app is now available as a free download at Google Play. For iOS users, the app is also available on Apple's App Store.
As its name implies, YouTube Kids is the version of the YouTube mobile app that does not show adult-oriented content. Instead, it only shows videos and other content that is safe for viewing for little children.
According to a post in its blogs, Google stated that the YouTube Kids mobile app basically categorizes content in four types; Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. When using the YouTube Kids mobile app, kiddie users can only view and browse through channels and playlists covered under those categories. Kids can still search for videos or content, but the results that will be displayed will only be those appropriate for children.
YouTube now joins other video content producers that also offer kid-oriented fare. Netflix, for instance, has its own section for kiddie viewers. Similar to the YouTube Kids mobile app, Neftlix's Kids mobile app comes with parental controls to make sure that only the videos approved by the child's parents can be shown on the app. Even Amazon has a service called FreeTime that allows parents to have a more direct hand in controlling which videos can be viewed by their kids.
Google stated last year that is have been actively exploring ways in which they can create products geared for kids. The release of the YouTube Kids mobile app is a huge solid step in that direction. Earlier in February, the company confirmed that it had bought Launchpad Toys, which developed Toontastic, a popular storytelling mobile app.
Aside from filtering age-appropriate video content, the YouTube Kids mobile app also includes extra large icons to aid kids in selecting the shows they want to watch (under parental control, of course). Google is also planning to make YouTube Kids available to the Kurio and Nabi kids' tablets soon.
Because the YouTube Kids mobile app is still very new, there is bound to be some limitations. For example, there is currently no way for a parent to narrow down content to a specific age bracket. This means that content that is ideal for elementary school children can be viewed as easily by three year old kids. Now, there is no major problem with that, but sometimes when you are looking for content appropriate for your toddler, it would be nice to be able to access videos for babies right away without having to go through content that is right for children of ages 8 to 10 years old, for example. Still, this is Google we are talking about. Its team should be able to figure something out.