Kids Videos & Cartoons Player is an award-winning Android app that wants to make it safe to hand over your phone or tablet to your little ones and keep them entertained. More than just a way of safely watching YouTube however, Kids Videos & Cartoons Player work with indie content creators to promote quality content that is both royalty-free, but also ad-free and suited for young children. Winner of the June 2016 Best Mobile Apps for Children category (more here) SamiApps Video Player splits up content for kids into certain categories such as Sing, Learn, Play, DIY and more. It has the settings page locked behind a code for parents to set a timer as well as search for specific videos. Otherwise, the SamiApps Video Player is an app that young children can quite easily use on their own, while parents are happy that they can only watch suitable and educational content.
The SamiApps developer has a lot of great, educational apps for kids available in the Play Store and parents can download Kids Videos & Cartoons Player from the Play Store, completely free.
There are a couple of permissions that the app asks for when it loads up, but these aren't explained by the app, nor the Play Store description, and I wonder why an app like this needs them. Either way, the app soon moves on to display some of their curated YouTube videos.
Right away, we can see that SamiApps have gone with a simple look and feel that will appeal to youngsters, but also has a consistent theme to it as well. The SamiApps Owl is here throughout and the categories at the top are all fairly straightforward to understand, too. This is an app powered by YouTube, so none of these videos are actually stored on your device, so parents will need to have an internet connection, and the app starts to play the videos whenever you click on them. For whatever reason, it appears as though SamiApps is using the much older version of the MP4 player built into Android, but we doubt many kids out there will care.
Many of the videos that you'll see in the categories on the front page are curated by SamiApps, through partnerships with the content creators themselves, and for the most part all of this is of good quality, and the different categories are definitely what kids are looking for in a video - no matter the length.
Speaking of length, many of the videos here are actually quite long, which is good for parents, as it means that they'll be able to keep their little ones occupied a little longer at a time. For instance, a twenty minute video is great for a short car journey, or waiting at the doctors and so on. Meanwhile, shorter videos can be great in between playing and such. These categories - the Learn, Play, Songs, DIY and Favorites - make it easy for children and parents alike to get access to different content for different times of day. The songs offer up a mix of songs as well as dances, and these are a great way of keeping your little ones interested in music and such.
One of the main features of SamiApps Video Player is to make it nice and simple for parents to search for a video, but to also restrict little ones for searching something they shouldn't do. To do this, parents need to access the settings menu, and they can do that from entering a sort of PIN code.
As SamiApps Video Players is designed for smaller children, it is unlikely that they'll be able to crack this code, but some tougher protection would have been nice. Regardless, this does lead on to the search feature of the app.
Here, I've done a search for Peppa Pig, a popular TV show where I'm from, and right away we get a Channel listing as well as some appropriate videos. I wanted to test this part of the app to see if it had some sort of keyword search restrictions, which doesn't seem to be the case here. Still, this is of course designed to give the power to parents and only parents, and it's a feature that the YouTube Kids app just doesn't have. Another of the parent-focused features here is the ability to set a timer from 1 minute up to 2 hours.
The timer is something that I thought was a really great feature, as parents can decide when it's time to go to bed, how long kids are rewarded for certain chores and this sort of thing. It's a pretty powerful feature to allow parents to set boundaries like this, especially when the YouTube app without guidance can let kids keep on watching whatever they want all of the time.
After spending some time with SamiApps' Video Player I was pretty happy that they had indeed created an app that cares about our kids. After all, there are so many corporate options that, ultimately, just want us to spend some more of hard-earned cash with them, that it can be hard to know who to trust. Thankfully, SamiApps has a good reputation for providing great educational apps for kids that are also good fun, and this is just yet another of their great tools that helps enable children to learn and be happy in themselves. There's little to complain about and the fact that it's a free app is even better. It looks good, does what it says it will and gives parents something that's priceless; peace of mind.
- Speed (4/5) - SamiApps Video Player runs brilliantly, and the only thing that will change this is the speed of your own connection.
- Theme (4/5) - SamiApps have created yet another good-looking Android app here. It looks good and will certainly appeal to children without going too far in that endeavor.
- Features (4/5) - SamiApps Video Player is a pretty great and being able to let your kids choose what they want to watch while knowing they're getting access to good-quality and suitable content is priceless. The parent-controlled search and timer are also excellent additions.
- Overall (4/5) - SamiApps Video Player works brilliantly, and there's little to complain about overall. It makes it nice and easy to keep your little ones safe when using YouTube without supervision, and there's more than enough content on offer to keep even the most demanding of little ones happy for a long, long time to come.
- SamiApps have curated much of this content themselves with the help of indie content creators, showing how much care they put into the app.
- The different categories make it easy to find something for your little ones in the moment, while also keeping the app nice and neat.
- Gives parents a secret way of getting into the search bar as well as other settings, giving the little ones very little that they can change and mess with.
- Kids can use this to find what they like on their own, without the need to ask mom or dad first, while also giving parents peace of mind they are watching appropriate content.
- A tougher way to lock the parent settings away would be good for those a little older, but the app is designed for younger kids for the most part.
Overall, SamiApps Video Players is an app that's definitely worth having installed if you're sort of parent that has kids that love video. It has content available that you might not have found elsewhere, and it really does help to keep kids safe and make sure that they're only allowed to view appropriate content. The different categories are easily-understood and laid out well, and make it nice and easy to find something to watch or sing along to whenever and wherever you and your family find themselves.