Given that kids like to use Assistant, Google is rolling out new parental controls, as well as new kid-friendly voices and Kids Dictionary.
These Google Assistant controls let parents choose which music and video services children can use, and which kinds they can watch/hear (all, non-explicit only, or none). Besides YouTube (main, Kids, and Music), access to news and podcasts can also be determined through these preferences.
There’s also the ability to select which features kids have access to, like Actions for Families, making phone/video calls, and what kind of responses they get:
- Only answer basic questions: Devices only answer basic questions like questions about the weather or the current time.
- Answer all questions: Devices answer all supported questions, which might include mature content.
At a higher-level, you can decide which Assistant devices around the house they can use and during which times of day (Downtime).
The parental controls are rolling out over the coming weeks in the Google Home, Family Link, and Google Assistant apps on Android and iOS. A Google Account managed through Family Link, as well as Voice (or Face) Match is a prerequisite.
In terms of new features today, there are four kid-friend voices that can “speak in slower and more expressive styles to help with storytelling and aid comprehension.”
These new voices, which we designed alongside kids and parents, were developed with a diverse range of accents to reflect different communities and ways of speaking.
Kids can choose by asking “Hey Google, change your voice” with each option having a different color.
Kids Dictionary is the last new feature today and provides “age-appropriate answers” across speakers, smart displays, and mobile devices that have Voice Match enabled. Answers will include various illustrations.
More on Google Assistant:
- Google redesigns Family Link with Material You, web app, and ‘Today only’ limits
- Pixel Tablet readies new designs for Google Assistant and Discover [Gallery]
- Assistant ditches light mode theme on Android to be ‘consistent’ with Wear OS and TV
- Google using AI to improve accuracy of Assistant smart home commands
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