Google is in the process of making ‘Child-friendly’ versions of a number of applications, that are already in popular use for users of all ages, including YouTube, Chrome and more.
In an interview with USA Today, Vice President, Engineering at Google, Pavni Diwanji has told them that the amount of staff at Google having kids, has moved the company towards a ‘push to change our products to be fun and safe for children’. Diwnaji is herself a mother of two daughters, aged 8 and 13, and is aware that a company of Google’s scale developing apps for children is controversial, but said ‘the simple truth is kids already have the technology in schools and at home. So the better approach is to simply see to it that the tech is used in a better way.’
Diwanji also spoke about giving parents the right tools to help oversee their kids use of Google products. Something they have already begun with Tools such as SafeSearch and YouTube Safety Mode. Google already supports a variety of childrens charities aimed at creating a safe environment online. Organisations such as the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and the Carly Ryan Foundation who provide schools across Australia be ‘e-smart’ and prevent cyber-bullying.
No time-line for release of the kid-friendly apps was given, as is usual for Google. However, apparently executives have noted that this initiative will be a full-time effort that will tie-in with other child-centric initiatives that Google is involved in such as their virtual Maker Camp, Doodle 4 Google competition and Made with Code initiative.
Would you prefer your child used standard Google apps, or child-friendly versions?