(Pocket-lint) - Google TV is adding separate profiles for kids, allowing parents to choose which apps are available to children.
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 create a profile by adding a child’s name and age. Then, they will see rows of age-appropriate shows. As a parent, you can share movies and TV shows you’ve already purchased to the kid profile via Google Play Family Library. You can also set watch time limits and a bedtime.
Google TV is a slightly new name for a not-that new service, principally found on the newest version of Chromecast. It debuted with some odd missing features compared to older versions of Android TV. One of the big blank spaces was around parental controls and the option to set up accounts for younger viewers in your household, to ensure that they can't watch just whatever they want.
Google seems to have been paying attention to people's comments about that feature being lacking, though, as it's now adding kids' accounts onto the service. First revealed in a support thread on the topic, Google said in February 2021 that the feature should be coming within a month or so, and that it would let parents choose which apps to lock behind a PIN-code.
Kids can also request access to apps they want. They'll, of course, all need approving by the designated parent.
Parents can also keep kids from switching over to regular profiles by setting a profile lock, which requires a PIN to get past. That said, this still isn't the true multi-user support. You're setting up restrictions on the device, rather than per-account settings. Whether that comes in time is more of a waiting game, but you'd hope that Google's planning to further bolster its service.
Lastly, the background on kid profiles can be personalised with different themes, and profile avatars will be available “in the coming weeks.”
Child profiles will be available on the Chromecast with Google TV and other Google TV devices in the US starting March 2021.
A global expansion is planned “over the next few months.”