Huvi

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Huvi App Poster Image
Simple but effective YouTube viewer gives parents control.

Parents say

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Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can learn a variety of things from videos added to their Huvi viewer, depending on which videos parents select. YouTube has a wealth of educational content, including popular educational television shows for young kids like Sesame Street and Sid the Science Kid. Parents can add videos that teach everything from the alphabet and counting to complex scientific concepts. 

Ease of play

The interface is simple, but the icons may not be clear for all users at first glance. Once in their profile, kids can easily navigate between videos. Kids have no search feature within their profile, so things may get unwieldy with a lot of videos. 

Violence & scariness

Up to parent discretion if cartoon violence is added to curated videos.

Sexy stuff

Up to parent discretion.

Language

Up to parent discretion.

Consumerism

Videos are shown without ads, but some videos may contain consumer content. Parents have complete control over the videos they add.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Up to parent discretion.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Huvi is an app for kids to watch YouTube videos, similar to YouTube Kids, but parents have control over the included content. Huvi has a more basic interface but allows parents to create profiles for each child in their family. They can then add individual videos to those profiles that meet with their approval. Kids are not allowed to search YouTube content; nor are they allowed to follow through to recommended videos. Ads are stripped as well. The parental account can be locked down using the device passcode or Touch ID. Families can also add passcodes to individual profiles so that kids of different ages will have access to only their own content. Parents can add a daily time limit for each kid's account. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared. 

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What's it about?

Parents start by signing up with HUVI using an email address. They then set up a profile for each family member with an icon (or picture), their age, their time limit, and their passcode, as applicable. After searching YouTube for and previewing videos, parents can add to one profile or several at a time. Parents can't simply add an entire channel, but they can add videos in bulk. Once in their profile, kids can watch what's there and nothing else. They can't follow through on recommended videos or click on embedded links.

Is it any good?

This YouTube video viewer truly puts parents in control of their kids' content, on a kid-by-kid basis. Huvi doesn't look like much; it has a bare-bones interface and no bling to be found. But it does what it's supposed to do, and it does it fairly well. It's easy to set up profiles and browse content. There are a few drawbacks, though. The first is the inability to add videos by channel. If you have a child who just wants to watch their favorite (safe) YouTuber's new content, it would be nice to add the channel and not have to add new videos several times a week. The second is that the videos are listed in a profile alphabetically with no search option or folders, making it difficult for young kids to find the episode they want to watch again. There was also a glitch that consistently crashed the app when we were trying to take a picture for a profile image, but families can get around that by taking the shot outside the app and selecting from there. Overall, these are small complaints for a free app with no advertising that is mostly geared toward younger kids who are happy watching the same 10 videos on repeat. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • How do you like this app as compared to other apps you could play? If you had or have limited screen time, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?

  • Tell your kids whether you'll use the timer, and explain how it limits kids' time in the app. Talk about your family's rules for screen time and why they're important.

  • Watch with your kid and discuss what you see. Since watching the videos is more passive than active, discussing content boosts learning potential.

App details

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For kids who love kid-friendly videos and preschool apps

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