Google TV is now a rather confusing name given it could refer to one of two things. It could, for example, refer to the new name for the Play Movies & TV app or it could be the new Google-specific interface for Android TV, specifically on the new Chromecast with Google TV. Despite its shared roots with Android, however, there are some things that are missing from the new Google TV that have some parents worried. Fortunately, Google will be pushing an update that partially addresses that, at least as far as parental controls are concerned.
Although Android itself has had support for multiple user accounts on the same device, Android TV didn’t exactly inherit it wholesale. The TV version only had restricted profiles that hid apps behind 4-digit PINs and restricted access to settings and folders. Curiously, Google TV, which is based on Android TV, didn’t even get that but only supported multiple Google accounts that still shared settings or apps anyway.
This, of course, is a great deal of concern for parents who have minors that have access to the Chromecast with Google TV device. The good news is that Google is definitely aware of the situation and has shared that more parental controls are coming soon. To be exact, Google TV will be getting Kids Profiles which will replace Android TV’s restricted profiles.
It’s not exactly like Android TV restricted profiles either. According to the support thread, parents will be able to select which apps will be available in such a profile except for YouTube Kids which is already enabled by default. All other apps require parents to opt-in before kids can access them and leaving a Kids Profile will require a PIN code entry.
The slightly bad news is that this is still not the true multi-user support that some Chromecast owners would have liked. That’s still coming, Google reportedly hinted, but there is still no estimate on when that will happen. As for Google TV Kids Profile, that will be coming “next month (or so)” still.