LEGO has gained a well-earned reputation for releasing solid mobile games that eschew the usual advertising and in-app purchases, making them great choices for kids. (Okay, technically every LEGO game is an advertisement for those super-expensive toys, but there are worse ways to advertise to children.) LEGO City My City 2 - that's My City 2, using the long-running My City toy line brand, if you're wondering - is one of the company's most elaborate mobile games to date.
International pay-TV broadcaster Sky has launched Sky Kids, a new app specifically designed to allow your little ones to watch their favourite TV shows on an Android device. There's a caveat, though - it seems to be only available for tablets. Nonetheless, Sky says if you're a Sky TV customer with Sky+ Family, Variety, or Sky Q, this app is available free of charge.
The app will let users set up profiles, much like Netflix does, so each child in the family can watch their own shows. These profiles can be age-restricted, which means a 3-year-old wouldn't be able to watch a show designed for a 7-year-old.
Netflix is filled to the brim with shows people want to watch, including children. Thing is, the default experience is pretty dark, and that remains the case if you sign into the kid portion. The little ones may be flipping through pictures of Curious George and The Land Before Time, but they're doing so against a dark backdrop of black and red.
Samsung has a giant tablet for grownups, but it doesn't seem to be a hit. The Nabi Big Tab for kids is pretty popular, though. The 20-inch variant usually sells for $300, but it's on sale for $250 via eBay right now. The sale is good for a few days, but there is a limited supply and a few hundred have already sold.
Version 1.50 of YouTube Kids started rolling out early Thursday morning. This update brings a really great new feature, and parents are going to love it. It's now possible to pause the watch history of YouTube Kids, and it doesn't affect the rest of your YouTube apps. A teardown also shows that parents will soon enjoy the benefits of YouTube Red, as well. As usual, if the update hasn't hit your account yet, jump to the bottom of the post to find a download link.
If you've heard of Fuhu, you're either a parent, a tech news junkie, or both. The Los Angeles-based company makes the Nabi line of tablets, some of the first Android-powered devices to be made and marketed directly for children, and the forerunner of more widespread "kid" tablet variants from Samsung and Amazon. Android Police has reviewed several of its tablet designs. Fuhu announced that the company is being acquired by Mattel, famous makers of Barbie, Hot Wheels, and all manner of other children's toys and games.
Concurrently, Fuhu is also filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That's alarming, but according to the lengthy post on the official Nabi Facebook page, it's more of a procedural method than an actual decommission of the company as it currently stands.
YouTube Kids launched in the US back in February with the aim of making it easier and safer for kids to watch videos on YouTube. So far, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times across all platforms, and Malik Ducard, YouTube's Global Head of Family and Learning, says that families consider it to be "among the top kids apps available." Today, the team is expanding YouTube Kids into five new countries — Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom — and adding in lots of country-specific programming like Charli's Crafty Kitchen and Wild Kratts, too.
YouTube Kids boasts many elements parents will find very attractive, such as a playful, child-friendly design, voice search for kids who are still learning their ABCs, and plenty of family-focused content.
Google is continuing with this free app of the week promotion, but it's still just for family-friendly kids apps. The third selection is now live and it's a $5 app called Thomas’s Musical Day for Percy. Now it costs you nothing to subject your children to the horror of anthropomorphized trains that misuse apostrophes.
The Play Store has a crap-ton of content, much of which you might not want your kids to access. Google is aware of this, and at I/O 2015 the company has announced a new set of tools specifically designed to help parents find age-appropriate content, plus a few extras to help kids engage with the content itself. It's all being introduced to the Play Store under the "Family Star" label and logo.
Family Star extends across apps, games, video, and book content, but it's primarily intended for games. Searches specifically for kid-friendly content filter out everything else, and content under the Family Star logo is separated by age range.
You don't need an introduction to Fruit Ninja. You're probably playing it right now. It has attracted millions of players over the years, partly because swiping to cut things on a touchscreen is as intuitive as pressing A to jump.
So developer Halfbrick Studios has taken the same concept and adapted it for small people who are learning math for the first time. You don't just cut bananas, you cut the right amount of them. It's not enough to split a watermelon in half. You want to slice the one showing the correct answer.
Math problems at the top of the screen will inform you which way to swing your finger sword.