Kids to get their own YouTube app on February 23

youtube for kids launching on february 23 kid tablet
YouTube is set to roll out a kid-friendly version of its service this Monday.

Google, which owns the video-streaming giant, revealed last year it was planning to launch child-focused versions of its products. Its plan for YouTube comprises a “fun and safe” Android app offering a mix of original and existing content.

According to USA Today, which recently viewed a demo version of the app, YouTube Kids sports a clutter-free interface and includes a number of unique features, among them a timer function that lets parents control how long the app can be used for before a password is required to continue watching.

Reportedly built by in-house engineers “with
parenting credentials,” the app’s home screen features eight large tiles, each one showing images from popular children’s shows.

Icons above each tile indicate the type of video to expect, so, for example, a TV set indicates an entertainment show, while a lightbulb represents something educational.

Voice search

With toddlers’ typing skills not quite fully formed, the app wisely offers a voice-based search option, though the feature will need to be pretty smart if it’s to accurately capture some of the baffling babble that emanates from the lips of littl’uns.

And if a kid types or says a search word that’d make their parents blush, or possibly faint in shock, the app has been programmed to respond with a “try something else” message.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which also carried news of the app’s imminent release, YouTube is paying some creators to produce original content for its new service. However, it’s not currently known how YouTube Kids will generate revenue for the company.

The inclusion of ads is said to be “under discussion,” though the existence of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which imposes strict limitations on how data is collected for advertising purposes from those under 13 years of age, means the company will have to proceed with caution if it decides to go down that road.

The law has been used by the Federal Trade Commission to land 20 firms with fines over the last 15 years after it was discovered they’d mined information from children without their parents’ agreement.

YouTube Kids will be announced during a keynote at the Kidscreen Summit in Miami on Monday, the Wall Street Journal said in its report.

[Source: USA Today, Wall Street Journal]


Michael Kors updates its Sofie smartwatch, but still uses a processor from 2016

Michael Kors announced an update to the Sofie smartwatch, now offering heart rate monitoring, GPS, and NFC support. There's only one problem — the device still offers the Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The best sustainable outdoor gear for Earth Day and beyond

Take some time to clean up trash on a highly-used hiking trail for Earth Day, but don't stop there. Take the next step by choosing only sustainable gear for your outdoor adventures.

Bigger isn’t always better: 5 of the smallest smartphones worth buying

Phones are getting larger and larger, but what options exist for the small-of-hand, or people who just want a phone they can use one-handed? In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch.

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.

Before buying a Fitbit, check out these Garmin fitness trackers under $100

The Apple Watch is a great fitness tracker, but it's not cheap. Thankfully, there are plenty of fitness trackers under $100, and they offer many of the same features. Here are the best fitness trackers under $100.
Health & Fitness

Google’s redesigned Fit activity tracker is now an iOS app

Google Fit has landed for iOS. The activity tracker offers the same clean design that arrived with the major revamp of the Android version a year ago, with features such as Move Minutes and Heart Points also included.

Stunning photo shows Honor 20 will get the full Moschino designer treatment

Honor will launch the Honor 20 on May 21, at an event taking place in London. A special Moschino version will also be revealed, potentially with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.

Leak says Huawei will supply 5G equipment to the U.K., but with a caveat

A leak from the U.K.'s National Security Council says Huawei has been approved to supply certain 5G infrastructure equipment, but not the core components related to secure aspects of the network.

Smash your carrier shackles with the best unlocked phones

If you want the freedom to switch carriers at will or you prefer to get your phone directly from the company that makes it, you'll want to buy an unlocked smartphone. These are the best unlocked phones you can buy in the U.S.

Google Assistant for Android and iOS wants to tell you a story

Just in time for National Tell a Story Day on April 27, Google has added the ability for Google Assistant for iOS and Android to read you a story. So now there's no excuse for not catching up with a good book.

Here's how much it will cost to buy the Galaxy S10 5G, and when it releases

Samsung announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show, as it will be the first 5G-ready smartphone to hit the market.

Verizon reveals 20 new cities that will get its 5G network in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it has also begun deploying mobile 5G. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network, including when it will be in your town.