Google-owned YouTube has started rolling out an update to its kid-friendly version. The changes to YouTube Kids now allow children to stream their favorite YouTube videos through Chromecast, while letting parents take more control of their children's activities on YouTube.
The update is two-sided. On one side, children will now be able to enjoy watching videos on YouTube Kids even more, now that the app is compatible with Chromecast. Using the $35 streaming TV dongle from Google, kids will not have to make do with watching on their teeny-tiny tablet screens anymore. Instead, they can watch straight from their TV. The latest feature is adopted from the YouTube app for adults, which was one of the first apps to be compatible with Chromecast when it first launched.
But on the other side, Google is not allowing kids to do just whatever they please — YouTube Kids is getting even stricter parental controls. The update now allows parents to set custom passwords for accessing parental controls. This can be found at the bottom of the number pad in the app's settings.
The new feature is apparently to prevent crafty kids from making their way into the parental controls and changing them up as they like. The password will be required when accessing all parental controls and the app's global settings. Parents may see the custom passcode as a feature in exchange for allowing their children to take over the living room TV during a certain time.
Although YouTube has been around since forever, YouTube Kids was only introduced in February to provide kid-friendly content to the younger set. However, the first few versions of the app did not exactly please parents, as researchers point out the app still contains violence, sex and other content unfit for young children.
In response to the growing number of complaints, Google decided to roll out parental controls to allow parents to choose what their children can watch on the app and when. These parental controls include letting parents set a timer for how long their kids can use the app, and even set a reminder for children to go do their homework when time's up. The latest update reinforces even more parental control, keeping the settings out of children's reach.