Google TV has a lot more capability than previous Chromecasts, thanks to its new Android TV-based interface. Google is looking to expand its powers further with new software updates, which should also apply to other Google TV hardware. The company announced new tools for managing what kids watch, and how long they can watch it.
Google says you can add new profiles using existing Google accounts, assuming your child is old enough to have one. Otherwise, you can just add a profile with a name and age. From there, parents can decide what apps they want to be available on a kids profile and share movies and TV shows that were purchased on an adult’s account with the rest of the family. The profiles will also show recommendations from specifically kid-friendly apps; hopefully this will keep any unsavory conspiracy theories from YouTube from popping up on a profile.
Screen time limits are also built into these profile, letting a parent say how much time each kid gets; there’s also a “bedtime” schedule to wind things down, not unlike the digital well-being features found on most smartphones these days. You can also sync these screen time limits across other Google devices like a Chromebook or Android phone using the Family Link app. From there you can see how much time your kids are spending in various apps as well as block and unblock various apps.
These new features will roll out to Google TV users in the US over the next month they’ll be available “globally” over the next couple months. There aren’t many Google TV devices yet besides the new Chromecast, but as the platform becomes more widely available, these parental control features should be ready to go for new users.