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Google has finally announced that it’s adding separate profiles for kids ― a popular customer request, to its Google TV software this month in the United States, as well as screen time limits for parental control.
Kid profiles will let parents choose which apps are available to young viewers. 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 what apps they want to be available on a kid's profile and share movies and TV shows that were purchased on an adult's account with the rest of the family. So at least now you won’t have to deal with kiddie content infiltrating your own recommendations.
The profiles will also show recommendations from specifically kid-friendly apps; hopefully, this will keep any unsavory conspiracy theories from YouTube from popping up on a profile.
Parenting in the age of tech can be ? That’s why we're starting to roll out kids profiles on #Chromecast with Google TV that are designed to make it easy to choose from a selection of family-friendly apps and set daily watch limits for your kids. ? https://t.co/ChZ55zQoWh pic.twitter.com/o33f0MAStY— Made By Google (@madebygoogle) March 8, 2021
Google has made it possible to customize each profile you create. There are themes that are designed to appeal to kids, and in the coming weeks, there will be avatars available so you can choose a profile picture for your child.
Screen time limits are also built into these profiles, letting a parent say how much time each kid gets; there's also a "bedtime" schedule to wind things down, not unlike the digital well-being features found on most smartphones these days. You can also sync these screen time limits across 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 block and unblock various apps.
“Your kids will be greeted with three countdown warning signs before a final ‘Time is up’ screen appears and ends their watch time,” Google TV product manager Saleh Altayyar wrote in a blog post. “You’ll always have the option to add some extra bonus time when it’s not a school night.”
These new features will roll out to Google TV users in the US over the next month; they'll be available "globally" over the next couple of months. There aren't many Google TV devices yet besides the new Chromecast, but as the platform becomes more widely available, these parental control features should be ready to go for new users.