YouTube Kids, the family-friendly version of YouTube with built-in parental controls and a curated selection of kids content, is now available on Amazon’s Fire TV. The app’s arrival comes after Google and Amazon came to a mutually beneficial agreement that also allowed YouTube to launch on Fire TV last year and Amazon’s Prime Video to make its way to Chromecast and Android TV.
The agreement was meant to soon see the additions of other YouTube apps, including YouTube TV and YouTube Kids, on the Fire TV platform. But while YouTube TV arrived on Fire TV last September, YouTube Kids has seen a significant delay, considering it was promised to arrive sometime in 2019.
In any event, the YouTube Kids app is here now, offering parents a somewhat less risky version of YouTube’s service for younger children. Parents can create individual profiles for each child, customized to one of several age groupings, like preschool, younger and older — the latter meant for the tween crowd. However, the app’s content isn’t hand-selected. Instead, YouTube’s automated systems determine what’s considered age-appropriate. This can sometimes lead to mistakes, which parents can report using in-app tools.
For those who want a more customized and controlled experience, YouTube Kids also allows parents to handpick which channels the child can access.
Amazon says the YouTube Kids app will begin to roll out to Fire TV customers starting today, July 9, 2020.
For those not on Fire TV, YouTube Kids also recently launched on Apple TV earlier this spring. It’s not yet available on Roku.
In addition to news of the YouTube Kids launch, Amazon also today announced that Fire TV Cube owners in the U.S. and select markets will be able to watch over-the-air TV and use Alexa to tune to various channels. This will require customers to attach their own over-the-air tuner, which is configured in the Settings menu under “Equipment Control/Manage Equipment/Add Equipment” and then “Live TV.”
Once set up, customers can ask Alexa to change the channel using either its name or number.
These Fire TV updates follow yesterday’s news about Fire TV updating its Live TV experience to integrate top live TV streaming services, YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Hulu + Live TV.