A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
APPLE TV is an entertainment app where users can search for movies and television shows to watch. There are four main sections: Movies, TV Shows, Sports and Kids. Each section includes a significant amount of suggestions of shows, movies and live shows to watch. Clicking on individual shows includes episodes to watch, trailers, bonus content, information about the cast and crew, which apps allow access to the show, and a short description of the show. Other apps and for those who subscribe to some cable providers can sync these accounts with Apple TV to gain access to even more viewing content. For example, families who pay for other subscription services can use Apple TV to search through the apps to find shows or movies to watch, rather than having to search through several different apps. Apple TV will prompt the subscribed app to open in order to watch it. When choosing shows or movies to view, you might discover a title that requires rental or purchase, depending on what services you pay for. There's a special library tab, if family sharing is enabled, where users can search movies and shows to watch they have already previously purchased through an iTunes account. Parents can restrict content by going into settings and using a passcode to set the level of maturity for types of content. However, there are no profiles, so if you have a variety of ages in your home, you'll have to change the restrictions for each viewer.
Is it any good?
For entertainment fans both young and old, this service includes access to tons of movies and shows, but it's level of control for parents falls behind other streamers. For families who subscribe to services like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video to watch the content, parents need to know that Apple TV works more like a search engine. Choosing a show found in Apple TV, which is supported by Amazon Prime Video, will open the app in order to view it. When this happens, it's hard to figure out how to navigate back to Apple TV, so within seconds kids will transition from one app to another with even more inappropriate content at their fingertips. Savvy kids can easily gain access to inappropriate content. But for those who have always wondered how to watch their favorite sports team live when you don't live in the area, it's a great tool to figure out which additional apps you can subscribe to in order to fulfill your needs. Not all subscription apps, such as Netflix, are supported in Apple TV. Buying content through Apple TV using family sharing means it'll be included in the Apple TV library. Parents who want to limit their child's access to searching for content through Apple TV can choose episodes and movies, download them, and turn off the Wi-Fi so kids can view content offline.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how kids may come across content that's not for their age using Apple TV. Talk about the "house rules" if the kids find something that is inappropriate for them to watch, such as letting you know about it so they can be redirected back to the correct section.
Some content is educational, while most of it is more entertainment focused. Do you have rules on how many shows or episodes a child can watch before they need to take a screen break? What are some suggested activities kids can choose in your home when they put their screens away like exercising, an arts and crafts project or reading a book?
Transitions away from devices can be a challenge for many children, which can lead to tantrums, frustration and outbursts. What works for one child might not work for another. Does setting wifi limits help? Are there rewards for putting away the device without frequent reminders?
You may need to explain to your child the difference between buying and renting when it comes to movies. Some movies can be bought or rented through Apple TV. Are you a family that prefers to rent movies or buy them?
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