Keeping young kids entertained is a full-time job and sometimes the only solution is to give them something to watch. If you have more than one kid, especially at different ages, that gets much harder to do because video content changes quite a bit as they grow up. The latest update to YouTube Kids is making this a little more manageable with a brand new system for kid profiles. Once set up, all kids have to do is switch to their own profile and they'll immediately get recommendations appropriate to their age.
Official blog post is up
The official blog post is up to describe the new features in YouTube Kids. In addition to the new features, YouTube notes that the Kids app has more than 11 million users across 37 different countries.
According to YouTube, new features are planned to give parents more control over the experience and to expand the target age range to include tweens.
We're looking at ways to build an even better experience for families. Coming soon, we'll give parents the option to have more content available in the app experience for their child. Our team is working to identify the most relevant content categories for tweens to make the app even more awesome.
Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)
- Profiles for kids
- Visual refresh (mostly new graphics)
Profiles for kids
YouTube Kids is adding a new and better way to customize recommendations and settings for your kids, or more specifically, keep them individualized for each child. The latest version gives parents the ability to create separate profiles for each child.
Profiles are attached to a parent's Google account and will sync across every device that they're signed into. Birthdays are stored with each child and content recommendations adjust as kids grow up – no more picking between two basic age groups to cover every kid. These profiles also sync settings for whether search is enabled and if YouTube watch history is paused.
Creating a kid profile only takes a minute or two. Parents need to tap on the profile icon floating at the top left corner of the main browsing screen to get started. Alternatively, open the settings screen by tapping the lock at the bottom right and find the new section for profiles.
Note: It's possible that you might not be able to create kid profiles immediately after updating. It took a minute or two and changing screens a couple of times before the avatar appeared in the upper-left corner.
The app will take you through naming the new profile, attaching a birth date, and answering if search should be on or off. You can also switch the profile image if the default doesn't suit your young one. After tapping through a few more screens, you'll be able to add more kids or go straight to watching videos under the new profile. Kids can easily switch accounts by tapping the profile picture at the top left and picking the profile they want to use. Passcodes can also be set for each kid so siblings can't mess with each others' profiles.
The one catch I noticed is that kid profiles are attached to one and only one Google account, which means the profiles can't sync between mom and dad. It might be worth creating a shared Google account to contain the kid profiles and signing it into every phone belonging to a guardian.
We first spotted kid profiles back in June with a teardown of v2.28.
Aside from kid profiles, there doesn't appear to be much in the way of functional changes. However, most of the graphics have been replaced or touched up with this version. The main change is a brand new set of animated category icons across the top. The background of the main screen is now painted with a colorful scene. There are also a few minor tweaks to images and graphics throughout the app.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.