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.
Toddlers deserve teardowns too! Ok, maybe teardowns are still for grownups, but let's do something for those little ones that haven't learned to read xml yet. The YouTube Kids app has only been available since late February, so it's fair to expect a lot of changes and new features in each release. Last week's update brought immersive mode and better voice search, but a look inside revealed that there are some extra toys in the future. To begin with, it looks like Chromecast support is right around the corner. However, the really cool addition appears to be a built-in recording mode to capture your little one singing along to The Wheels On The Bus.
When you're hitting up the city and need to get from point A to point B, you turn to Uber. When you're looking to transport your kids, you turn to Shuddle. Fortunately, the service is now opening its doors to Android-using families.
Never heard of Shuddle? I understand. That's because it isn't available in your area (or mine either). In what should surprise no one, its drivers only navigate around the San Francisco Bay Area. The company comes from one of Sidecar's co-founders (another company that probably doesn't support your city).
Like other ride-sharing apps, Shuddle lets you request a trip and provide payment using your phone.
Google plans to roll out a new Google Play program that places an emphasis on family-focused (i.e. kid-friendly) apps and games. This initiative will display pre-approved content under an experience the company is calling "Designed for Families." The goal is to point parents in the direction of software from the likes of Crayola and PBS Kids without exposing them to the flood of less age-appropriate content on display in the Play Store.
Google has officially opened up the toy chest and taken out YouTube Kids, its gift to parents all over the US. The app searches YouTube for the content that's appropriate for the little ones and dishes it out to them in an easily navigable interface that places less of an emphasis on search, keywords, and spelling.
Google has revealed their intention to roll out a new YouTube app just for kids, starting next week. It will be aptly named YouTube Kids and is geared towards those 10 years old or younger. Perhaps most interesting for non-children is that the app, at least initially, will be released exclusively on Android.
Image by USA Today
It features a fairly dumbed-down user interface that will leverage Google's voice recognition rather than rely on the spelling abilities of young children. And, of course, it has the huge benefit (for parents) of filtering out inappropriate content, including denying searches that will obviously turn up bad results.
Since the launch of Android 5.0 last month, the sheer number of app updates has been magnificent – and downright overwhelming. Believe it or not, most of the new versions haven't done much more than add Lollipop support and splash a fresh coat of Materialized paint on the UIs. Seriously, we've been checking. This isn't entirely a bad thing, as it's giving me time to work on some other projects... You'll see soon enough <wink>. But, we've finally got something to talk about with the latest release of Google Play services 6.5. Strictly speaking, a few of tidbits to follow were actually first seen in different minor releases of 6.1, but we're putting it all together here.