Google today announced that it’s adding a popular customer request to its Google TV software: separate profiles for kids. Kid profiles will let you choose which apps are available to young viewers. If a Google account for the child already exists, you can add that as a kid profile — but a Google account is not required; you can also create a profile simply by adding a child’s name and age.
Similar to Google TV for adults, kids will see rows of recommended, age-appropriate shows to watch. You can also opt to share movies and TV shows you’ve already purchased to the kid profile with Google Play Family Library. At least now you won’t have to deal with kiddie content infiltrating your own recommendations.
Parents can set daily watch time limits for child profiles and enter a designated bedtime. “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.”
Parents can keep kids from switching over to regular profiles by setting a profile lock, which requires a PIN to bypass. You can also check Google’s Family Link smartphone app to “see how much time your kids are spending in their favorite apps, block and unblock apps, control app activity and more.”
The background on kid profiles can be customized with various themes, and Google says it will be adding profile avatars “in the coming weeks.” Keep in mind that while Google TV is adding kids profiles, it still doesn’t offer the ability to create more than one adult profile — so hopefully that isn’t far behind.
Child profiles will roll out to the Chromecast with Google TV and other Google TV devices in the US starting this month, with a global expansion following “over the next few months.” The feature was definitely needed and helps solidify Google TV as the streaming interface to beat.