As expected, Google has released a new YouTube Kids app which is… a YouTube app designed for kids. It’s available for Android and iOS devices, offers a simple user interface, and content filtering that should keep youngsters from viewing inappropriate content.
But YouTube Kids is just Google’s first app designed specifically for children. The company suggests that more may be on the way.
Google says teams throughout the company “have been looking at how families are using our products” to find better ways for parents and kids to interact with Google products. YouTube seems like a pretty smart place to start: YouTube Kids is designed to let parents hand a phone or tablet to a child without pre-screening every video first.
The app is populated with categories including shows, music, learning and explore, and includes parental controls including a feature that lets you limit the amount of time a child can watch, and an option to disable search so kids can only view pre-selected content.
Note that there’s one feature some folks had been hoping would be left out of YouTube Kids, which hasn’t been. Just like the normal YouTube app, YouTube Kids features ads which can play before videos (and which can usually be skipped after a few seconds by tapping a button).
YouTube isn’t the only Google product used by kids, but it’s probably one of the most popular. I doubt we’ll see Google Sheets for Kids anytime soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if future versions of Google’s Search, Music, or other services do a better job of catering to kids (and parents) as well.