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AT&T unveils kid friendly app

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 12:21pm
Mike Robuck

AT&T is taking the worry out of channel surfing for parents by offering a free mobile app that was designed for use by children.

In addition to the parental control features, the AT&T U-verse Kids! app lets children tune into TV programs via remote control buttons that were designed for kids. The buttons display TV programs that are currently airing, and the app features colorful icons and easy-to-use buttons.

Users can select a TV program and the TV will automatically tune to it. The app also enables full trick play of live TV.

AT&T said the app can also “read” program names aloud using AT&T Natural Voices text-to-speech technology. AT&T said it was the only major TV provider to offer a remote control mobile app designed specifically for kids.

The app also lets parents set custom parental controls by TV or movie rating and specify which channels are displayed. Once they are set, the app will only display content that meets the parental control settings. If parental controls aren’t set, the app only displays programming that is rated TV-14 and below.

"Kids love to grab the remote control and look for their favorite shows. Children can now find what they’re looking for in an easy and fun way, and parents have peace of mind with safe channel surfing,” said Mel Coker, chief marketing officer, AT&T Home Solutions. “U-verse Kid! is a great example of how we’re bringing together our mobile and TV platforms to deliver a better experience for U-verse customers.”

The app is delivered via the “U-verse Enabled” platform, which lets customers connect their smartphones and tablets to their U-verse TV receivers over their Wi-Fi networks. Currently, the app supports iOS and Android operating systems. On the Android side, users will need operating systems 2.3.3 and up while Apple users will need iOS 6.1 or higher.

U-verse Kid! was the end result of researchers’ work  at AT&T Labs. It uses the framework of U-verse Easy Remote, an app that lets customers control their TVs with their smartphone or tablet. AT&T developers used the Easy Remote framework to design an app for new and non-readers.

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