Google TV is Getting an Interface for Kids

Posted on March 8, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Google TV with 3 Comments

Google announced today that it is adding kids profiles to Google TV, the first in a series of new features aimed at families.

“From Google Kids Space on select Android tablets to teacher-approved apps in Google Play, we’ve already made a lot of progress in helping our kids explore online, but the work isn’t over,” Google’s Saleh Altayyar writes. “That’s why today, we’re taking our first step in delivering family features on Google TV with the introduction of kids profiles.”

If your kids have Google accounts, you can use those, of course. But if not, you can simply create a new profile using just their name and age, no account required. Parents can pick which apps their kids can use, and the recommendations that Google TV displays will feature kid-friendly apps. Using Google Play Family Library, parents can also share access to TV shows and movies they’ve already purchased on other devices. Kids profiles will also feature fun, kid-friendly themes, and kids will soon be able to choose avatars based on their interests as well.

As you might imagine, this feature will work with Google’s parental controls, so parents can set screen time limits and manage this access from the Family Link mobile app. “From your phone, you can see how much time your kids are spending in their favorite apps, block and unblock apps, control app activity[,] and more,” Altayyar says.

This feature will roll out on Chromecast with Google TV and other Google TV devices in the U.S. starting this month, and will expand globally over the next few months, Google says.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Google TV is Getting an Interface for Kids”

  1. gregsedwards

    I wish Google would make it possible for parents to decide which version of YouTube their kids can use rather than forcing anyone under 13 to use the YouTube Kids app. It just incentivizes most kids to use the app signed out and to avoid using devices where that's not possible (Android, Chrome OS). As a parent, I'd much rather be able to create Google accounts for all family members and then have more granular controls in the Family Link and YouTube app to manage what they're watching.

    • IanYates82

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      Yeah, YouTube kids is far too restrictive. I get why they did it though - content control is a lot easier when it's so heavily restricted.

      My kids are older than they really are for this reason, although half of the stuff they watch is under my account according to some devices so a get a lot of game streamers, minecraft videos, and stuff about slime and challenges. I must appear to have a split personality.

      Google TV works really well. Bought a dongle version of it a few weeks back so we'd stop using the Series X for things like Netflix. Very happy with the purchase and our dumb panel now has some fast smarts.

      We went away this past weekend to a bush tree house place. It had an Android TV that had been upgraded and ran the same google TV interface as our dongle at home. Except every time you turned the TV on you'd have to wait a minute for the TV to boot. It was ridiculous! I can see why Android TV didn't catch on if they were all like that. Separating it out into a stick has worked really well.

      • jgraebner

        In reply to IanYates82:

        Sounds like the place you were staying probably had the TV set up to completely cut power when turned off instead of going into sleep mode. I have a HiSense TV with built-in Android TV and it starts up instantly unless I specifically tell it to fully power down (or it was unplugged or otherwise lost power).

        That said, the built-in Android TV is ridiculously slow due to the TV not having enough memory. It also has so little storage space that I kept having to delete applications to make room for others. I ended up buying a Chromecast with Google TV and it made it far more usable.

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