Kids, eh? Got to love them – but sometimes you just have to sit them down in front of the TV, for your sake as much as theirs. But can you trust them to browse on-demand services responsibly, or trust those services to keep kid-unfriendly material at arm’s length?
Thanks to the new BBC iPlayer Kids app, you no longer have to worry about giving your children the keys to the full iPlayer service. It’s designed to provide access to both CBeebies and CBBC, but nothing else.
The app requires at least one profile be set up – up to four are supported. This can be left to your children – they simply enter their name, age, choose an avatar and the service is tailored accordingly, with age-appropriate shows available.
A list of highlights is shown, tap one to choose from all available episodes for that show, or tap Shows to browse by channel using an A-Z list – note all episodes and both channels are available regardless of age. Once an episode has been selected, it can be streamed live or downloaded for viewing later – by default, high-quality downloads are disabled to reduce storage demands (flick these on via the Settings button on the launch page where you can also disable downloads entirely if you prefer).
Your children can also access their own profile page for updating the basic info they provided, or you can switch profile to another child. Rounding things off are a handy search function and downloads list for easy access to saved shows. Note downloads are shared between profiles.
BBC iPlayer Kids is a good first attempt at freeing your children from the main BBC iPlayer app, but there is room for improvement – anyone who can read numbers can access the settings dialog, while more could be done to prevent younger viewers from accessing the older CBBC channel.
Note the app only works in the UK.
What's New in Version 1.4.0
Our monsters have been busy! We’ve listened to your feedback and have added Chromecast so that you can enjoy your favourite CBeebies and CBBC shows on the biggest screen in the house!
It’s well built and presented, but the lack of any age-appropriate filters for older shows like Wolfblood are a strange omission.