Google is making it easier to find Android apps, games, videos, and other content that you’d feel comfortable letting your kids use.
The Google Play Store now has a Family button for Apps, Games, and Movies & TV sections and a Children’s Books section in the Books area. Parents can also use updated controls to prevent kids from purchasing or streaming inappropriate content.
When you’re using the Family features, search results will filter out content that may be age inappropriate.
Speaking of age, what’s appropriate for a toddler may not be right for a tween, so you can browse content by age group or view the number in the new Family Star badge to see what ages a particular app, video, or book is recommended for.
There’s also an option to browser the Play Store by character to view content related to Elmo, Dora, Mickey Mouse, Elsa, or other popular characters from children’s books or movies.
Don’t want your kids to be bombarded with ads? There’s a label on app pages letting you know if an app includes advertising.
I am working with Monkimun (www.monkimun.com) and the company’s language learning apps for children two-to-six were selected for this special section of Google Play. Because Google’s Android operating system represents more than 75 percent of mobile devices worldwide, this new family experience will give greater access to children around the world to quality vetted content–in our case, we can extend our reach and engage children, helping them become multilingual at an age when their brains are hard-wired to learn language and reap the incredible benefits multilingualism offers throughout the rest of their lives.
Good start with the up front warning about ads. They should put icons for all the malware behavior up front instead of having to click through to the app’s page to see it. Ads, in-app purchases, shareware (pro version as different app listing), spyware (tracking) and all the rest of the horrors that make up 90% of the Play Store. It just might make the rare clean app shine just enough above the rest that they could slowly come to dominate. And a special shiny badge for OSF approved licenses.
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