Just shy of a month ago, we discussed how Chromecast with Google TV was set to receive dedicated ‘Kids Profiles’ which would transform the living room experience to be safer and more fun for younger viewers. Today, in a Keyword post, Google has officially come forward with further details on how they will work and when they will become available.
Starting this month in the U.S. (and globally over the next few months), Kids Profiles will begin rolling out to Chromecast with Google TV and other Google TV-enabled devices. With it, parents will be able to choose which apps will appear for their children, so that the little ones have plenty of safe, and educational content to consume. Not only that, but any content from your Google Play Family library you’ve shared with your family group will be available to them as well (Detective Pikachu, anyone?).
As you can see below, you can begin the setup process by choosing a theme that will occupy the background of your kid’s TV experience. You can pick between ‘Under the sea’, ‘Dinosaur jungle’, and ‘Space travel’. Then, you’ll be able to choose a custom profile avatar. I imagine this will look very similar to how Stadia and Youtube Kids do. Once you’re up and running, you’ll see recommendations from things like Youtube Kids, and even the app’s specific segments drawn out as individual categories – see ‘Learning on Youtube Kids’ below.
You can’t have technology time without limitations, so Google has also included ‘Screen time’ settings. You can set up and review these settings for your child and once the timer expires, the Kids Profile will lock immediately – just like Family Link on Chromebooks, tablets, and phones! So that you’re not the bad guy when it comes to turning the TV off, Google will display three countdown warnings on the big screen for your kiddos before this occurs.
As per usual with parental controls across the ecosystem, you will be able to award bonus time, and so on. Some, but not all, of these settings can be controlled via the Family Link. Seeing how much time is spent per app, blocking and unblocking apps, and controlling activity within them will all be ready from day one, with more controls being added thereafter.
The addition of Kids Profiles is welcome, but I want to point out something a bit exciting. Thanks to these developments for families, Google may very well be on the verge of releasing official multi-user support for adults on Google TV devices. The framework is in place, and hopefully, we’ll get the feature everyone assumed would launch with the service, to begin with!