Review: YouTube Kids Is a Winner for Both Parents and Kids

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YouTube Kids includes parental controls that can limit the amount of time your kid spends watching videos.

After letting my three-and-a-half-year-old take YouTube Kids out for a test drive, I asked for her in-depth review. Her response: "Can I watch more videos, daddy?"

It doesn't take long for a toddler to learn the basics of using an iPad. Kids aren't quite as intimidated by the device, which makes learning to use it easier. And with a very familiar interface, it doesn't take much for kids to navigate through all of the videos in YouTube Kids.

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And there are a lot of videos.

YouTube Kids is divided into five categories: Recommended, Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. And each item in a category is a channel filled with videos. If you continue scrolling across the channels, you will flip from one category to the next, so you don't ever need to actually tap on a category.

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The app also has a search function that supports voice searches, though you will need to give YouTube Kids permission to access the microphone the first time you attempt a voice search. The ability to search by voice is great for younger kids who aren't able to spell out what they want to watch. And don't worry, search is limited to videos within YouTube Kids, so they won't see inappropriate videos in the search results.

The app also has a set of parental controls that include the ability to take away search.

You can also turn off background music and sound effects, but perhaps the best feature of the parental controls is the timer. The timer will let you set a limit on how long the app can be used, so if you want to limit your toddler to just a half hour of videos, it's easy to do.

YouTube Kids is a free app, and while its content doesn't match the Kids profile in Netflix, there is easily enough content to make it a great substitute.

And one major bonus it has over Netflix is that it is a dedicated app rather than being a section of the YouTube app. This means you can install it on your kid's childproofed iPad and not worry about what videos they are watching -- all of the videos in YouTube Kids are age-appropriate.

In addition to entertainment, there are plenty of educational videos, which is a great bonus. And while some new apps suffer from a bad interface or irritating bugs, YouTube Kids is quite polished. This is definitely a must-have app for parents.

You can download YouTube Kids from the App Store.

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