Google revealed last year that it was working on versions of YouTube, Chrome, and other products specifically designed to be kid-friendly. Now it seems the service, called YouTube Kids, is finally ready to make its public debut next week. YouTube is preparing an Android app specifically targeted at kids looking to browse its collection of videos.
In order to make the site more appropriate for kids, YouTube has pared down the interface,removing the entire comments section and blocking access to videos with objectionable content.
The redesigned interface features larger tap targets and a special filtering mode that can help surface clips from kids shows, educational videos, and more. Voice search enables kids who can’t type to find their favorite videos, and the search features a blacklist of terms that will prevent users from searching for explicit content.
Finally, a timing control will enable parents to limit how much time their kids spend using the app.
YouTube Kids will be available on February 23rd for free on the Google Play Store. This is only the latest move in Google’s attempts to make its web services and apps more child-friendly, which started last year with upgrades to the Google+ social network.