Unless you’re some kind of BBC-hating angry person (hello, Rupert!), you probably like iPlayer. It gets telly catch-up services right, and the iOS and Android app is fab.
But even though the iPlayer app has a parental guidance switch, there’s always that nagging feeling you might forget to turn it on. Then any little dears might come into contact with unsuitable adult-oriented programming, or something that will really mess them up, like EastEnders. Hence the all-new iPlayer Kids app!
THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
The app wastes no time getting started, the staid and corporate iPlayer logo being shoved out of the way by a friendly ‘KIDS’ zooming across the screen. You then create a profile and delve into the app proper.
Essentially, it’s a mini-me iPlayer, centred around content from CBeebies and CBBC. You can browse recommendations, or rifle through shows currently running on each channel.
As per iPlayer, episodes can be downloaded for offline viewing. By default, these come down in somewhat low-res, meaning you can, for example, quite happily squeeze over 20 episodes of the new Danger Mouse run into under 3 GB. (We thoroughly checked, and then watched them all, because we’re very dedicated.) However, you can boost the quality if your kids start complaining about the jaggies.
There are, however, grumbles. For every area where we were gleefully happy about iPlayer Kids, there’s something it could do better. So you get chunky subtitles, but no favourites lists. AirPlay is supported on iOS, but Chromecast isn’t anywhere. The interface is straightforward and easy to use, but could be better suited to tiny paws, and think again about horizontally scrolling channel lists, which are annoying when trying to find something beginning with, say, T.
You can at least search, which is suitably speedy and features a grinning blue monster wearing a monocle. This is, of course, excellent.
So iPlayer Kids doesn’t get Stuff’s highest rating, but it’s nonetheless a must-have download if your kids regularly pilfer your tablet, or if they’re fortunate enough to have one of their own. Now go away: an evil version of Danger Mouse has escaped from a parallel dimension, and we can’t waste any more time finding out whether our rodent hero will prevail!