Netflix iPad App Gets Even More Kid-Friendly
October 2, 2012

Netflix Just for Kids, iPad’s Guided Access, And You

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Of all the potential use cases for Apple´s best-selling tablet, one of the greatest is as an entertainment hub for children during long trips in the car or on a plane. Parents can set up parental controls, load up the iPad with games or movies, and let the kids have their way with the tablet, hopefully ensuring a few moments of peace during the long journey.

With iOS 6, Apple introduced a new accessibility feature which allows parents and teachers to lock down the iPad into “Guided Access” mode. More commonly referred to as “Single App” mode, this setting restricts children (or anyone without the passcode) from opening other apps or even touching various parts of the screen. This means, kids can play a game or watch a video without the danger of accessing other parts of the iPad or opening the App Store to buy additional credits for the games they´re playing.

Yesterday, Netflix announced a new feature to their iPad app which, when used in tandem with Guided Access, makes the Apple tablet an even better travel companion for kids.

“Netflix "Just for Kids" makes it easier and more fun for kids and families to browse and instantly watch a large selection of kid-friendly TV shows and movies,” said the company in a press release.

“Now Netflix members can take "Just for Kids" on the road by selecting "Just for Kids" in the upper left hand corner of the Netflix application on iPad to enter an experience designed for children 12 and under.”

This app aims to make it easy for kids to find their favorite cartoons and movies by letting them swipe through rows of their favorite characters as opposed to rows of posters or titles. Netflix also promises Just for Kids will have all of the cars, dinosaurs, princesses and sing-alongs that kids crave, all displayed in an easy-to-find interface.

"We're very excited to release the first mobile version of Netflix Just for Kids," said director of innovation at Netflix David Watson in the press release.

"Kids love watching shows and movies on tablets and they intuitively know how to use Netflix Just for Kids on iPad."

Just for Kids isn´t a new development for Netflix. The section has long been available on the Netflix Web site as well as through the Apple TV, Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3.

With Guided Access Mode, parents can open the Netflix app without worry of their children accidentally opening other apps or getting themselves into any more trouble. In addition to disabling the hardware buttons - a great way to ensure the volume stays at a certain level - parents can draw on certain areas of the screen which cannot be touched or interacted with as well as turn off all motion controls. This mode is also great for playing pranks on close friends.

To turn Guided Access mode on, simply navigate to settings on the iPad and select General>Accessibility>Guided Access. From here, users can turn Guided Access mode off or on, set a passcode with which to enable full functionality of the iPad once more, and adjust whether the screen goes to sleep in this mode. While this mode is incredibly handy for parents who want an extra layer of protection when they give their children access to a tablet with potential access to the dangers of the real world. Apple announced this feature for teachers as well, enabling them to give assignments and tests on these devices without the worry of the students popping into other apps to find the answers or update their social network statuses.