Cakey

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Cakey App Poster Image
Highly customizable, safe YouTube playlists.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

What kids can learn depends 100 percent on what experience their parents curate for them. The default video playlists include some videos that explore numbers, letters, animals, and even a Sesame Street collection. Young kids may learn something from videos with an educational focus. Other default videos are either fluff (cats doing silly things) or highly commercialized (Barbie, Play-Doh, toy unboxing). To increase learning potential, parents can avoid the fluff and commercialized content and fill their accounts with thoughtful video collections that are picked specifically to be of interest to their kids and have some sort of educational content, such as pro-social messages, engineering feats, historical explorations, and more. Using the timer also can help teach kids about maintaining a balance between screen time and other activities. Cakey can definitely teach kids anything YouTube has to offer, so long as parents are guiding the choices and the process carefully.

Ease of play

Interface super easy. Kids tap to pull up video collections, then tap a still shot to start watching. Easy for parents to edit collections and browse YouTube videos. 

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

No ads in the app itself, though all videos are from YouTube, so some contain ads. Some of the preloaded video collections and user-curated collections promote products (Legos, Play-Doh) or companies (Disney, Baby Einstein), but parents can delete them.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cakey allows parents to preview and select YouTube videos for their kids to watch. It comes preloaded with several video collections that parents can keep, delete, or edit. Furthermore, parents can create their own collections from scratch or browse those submitted by other parents. Parents also can set time limits and, if they sign up for an account, receive updates on what their kids are watching. All these and more editing capabilities are protected behind a parent PIN-code lock. 

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What's it about?

CAKEY lets kids browse and watch curated collections of YouTube videos. The app comes preloaded with collections on a variety of topics from animals, numbers, and letters to toy-unboxing. Parents set a PIN to access the parent area, where they can delete or edit collections and individual videos, browse and add other user-created collections, or browse directly through YouTube to create their own collections. There also are a number of features and settings that parents can use to customize usage.

Is it any good?

Cakey is easy to use and convenient, and it's a great way to let kids watch videos in a safe environment. The interface is bare-bones, but some nice features include viewing time limits and remote access, which allows parents to create playlists from a computer and send them to the device. Not all families will appreciate certain aspects, such as some of the preloaded content and the capability to set an audio reminder to get kids take a bite of food. (Research suggests that watching videos during mealtimes can shut down opportunities for conversation and encourage unhealthy eating habits.) However, Cakey is versatile and entirely customizable, so parents can make it work for them. You can delete collections you don't find appropriate, create your own, use the features you find helpful, and ignore the others. Cakey is a simple tool that can work for kids and families with some background work and thoughtful adjustments.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen-time limits. It's fun to watch videos online, but discuss how to create a good balance between on- and offscreen activities.

  • Discuss any ads or branded product videos. Talk about what your kids see, and help them understand what's behind the content.

App details

For kids who love videos

Our editors recommend

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