The BBC has launched BBC iPlayer Kids 1.0 for iPhone and iPad, a filtered version of its well-known iPlayer app, aimed firmly at UK children.
As the name implies, access is restricted to the BBC’s two kid-friendly channels, CBeebies for younger viewers, and CBBC for older children.
The app works through a series of profiles – up to four can be created and set up within the app. Profiles are local only, and require children to provide their name and age before choosing an avatar. Once set up, children are shown a filtered view of recommended shows based on their age.
A Shows button is available for browsing the full range of episodes currently available on iPlayer, divided by channel and ordered A-Z. There are no filters in place based on the child’s age – both channels and all shows are available.
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 parents can also disable downloads entirely if they prefer).
Your children can also access their own profile page for updating the basic info they provided, or to 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 – there’s no parental PIN for blocking access to settings, for example (instead, users are asked to tap in the numbers as shown written as words, which is designed to block younger children from inadvertently accessing them). We’re also surprised that younger children are given access to the CBBC channel, which is aimed at junior ages.
BBC iPlayer Kids 1.0 is available as a free download for UK users with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 8.0 or later.