The Google TV UI that ships on the new Chromecast has a lot of perks, but a lack of profile support is one complaint a lot of users have. Today, Google TV is plugging that gap at least a little bit with the arrival of kids’ profiles.

Launching on Chromecast with Google TV “this month,” kids’ profiles allows parents to set up their TV with enhanced parental controls.

Google says that the focused homescreen on kids’ profiles shows content recommendations from kid-friendly apps such as YouTube Kids and Noggin. Beyond that, parents have the ability to pick exactly which apps are available while the Chromecast has been switched to a kids’ profile.

A kids’ profile can be powered either by a child’s parent-managed Google account, or the account of a parent using a generic profile that only has the child’s name and age. Using Family Link, Google says that specific purchased content can also be quickly shared and used on a kids’ profile. There’s also a screen-time limit for these profiles as well as a set “bedtime” that puts up a countdown before cutting off the TV. A profile lock prevents kids from jumping to their parents’ profile using a PIN for security.

To make these profiles a bit more fun, too, Google offers three themes for the interface including “Under the Sea,” “Dinosaur Jungle,” and “Space Travel.” A post-launch update will add custom avatars for these profiles.

Kids’ profiles are rolling out to Google TV devices in the US — still only the Chromecast, but soon TCL and Sony TVs — starting this month. The feature will extend to Google TV in other countries “over the next few months.” Google also teased plans to find more ways “to make Google TV work for the whole family.” Regular profiles? Let’s hope so!

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Ben Schoon

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