Google is launching a new YouTube app just for kids

YouTube Kids is coming to Android this month. Photo: Google

YouTube Kids is coming to Android this month. Photo: YouTube

Google is launching a brand new YouTube app that makes its hugely popular online video service a more suitable place for little ones. Aptly named YouTube Kids and available only on Android initially, the app will also promote kid-friendly content to make it easier to find.

I’ve got three kids and all of them love watching YouTube videos on their iPads, but finding suitable content isn’t easy without the help of an adult. The new YouTube Kids app, which will be available on February 23, will put that front and center so it’s easy to find.

Its home screen will be made up of eight large tiles, USA Today explains, each of which will showcase popular kids show, such as Thomas the Tank and Yo Gabba Gabba. There will also be descriptive icons for things like educational content, and links to top videos.

The new app will also block inappropriate content so that kids cannot stumble across it accidentally. “If a child deliberately or inadvertently types in a word such as “sex,” the screen pops up with a “Try something else” message,” reports USA Today.

There will also be some handy parental controls built-in, like the ability to limit viewing times. The app will automatically lock up once it has been used for a pre-set amount of time, and it must be unlocked with a password.

YouTube Kids is the result of input from both in-house engineers who have children, testers from organizations like Common Sense Media, and regular YouTube users. Google hasn’t yet confirmed plans to bring it to other platforms, but like the rest of its apps, it will likely be popping up on iOS soon.