Friday, April 23, 2021

Google TV gets kid profiles this month

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It has been almost six months since Google launched its latest TV-focused platform, aptly called Google TV, alongside new Chromecast hardware. Surprisingly enough, Google TV arrived without some essential features for families with young children because there was no child profile or parental controls. This is being fixed, as will Google TV soon to support children’s profiles and various screen time control features.

Google says you can add new profiles using existing Google Accounts, assuming your child is old enough to have one. Otherwise, you can just add a profile with a name and age. From there, parents can decide which apps they want to see available on a children’s profile and share movies and TV shows purchased on an adult’s account with the rest of the family. The profiles will also display recommendations of apps specifically tailored for children; Hopefully this will prevent any unsavory YouTube conspiracy theory from appearing on a profile.

Screen time limits are also built into this profile, allowing a parent to tell how much time each child has; There’s also a ‘bedtime’ schedule to slow things down, much like the digital wellness features found on most smartphones these days. You can also sync these screen time limits to other Google devices like a Chromebook or Android phone using the Family Link app. From there, you can see how much time your kids are spending in various apps, as well as blocking and unblocking various apps.

These new features will be rolled out to Google TV users in the US over the next month; they will be available “globally” over the next two months. There aren’t many Google TV devices outside of the new Chromecast yet, but as the platform becomes more widely available, these parental control features should be ready to go for new users.

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