Posts Tagged: family

Fitbit plans a ‘family’ of smartwatches in 2018

Fitbit knows it can't lean on activity trackers forever, and it's going to shake things up in 2018. As part of a call discussing its latest earnings, the company said it would produce a "family" of smartwatches this year — it's not just going to ho…
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Google Home adds features to become more family friendly

The main Google Home news today was the launch of two new devices, the Google Home Mini and Google Home Max, but important new features were also announced. Google Home devices are becoming more family friendly with better ways for both kids and parents to interact with the devices. For starters, Google is adding account […]

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Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out the family, individual, and prepaid plans

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon’s plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red’s prepaid plans.

The post Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out the family, individual, and prepaid plans appeared first on Digital Trends.

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‘Family Link’ app gives kids their own child-safe Google accounts

For some time, child-proofing your tech meant using kid-specific login profiles to wall-off your progeny into the most harmless corners of your tablet. That's hardly a delicate or complex safety setup. Google has released an app, Family Link, that le…
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How one family used YouTube to build a home and rebuild their lives

In December 2007, Cara Brookins was a 36-year-old computer programmer working full- time and taking care of her four young kids (ages 2, 11, 15, 17). From the outside, she looked like any other mom but personally she had just closed the door on an unsafe marriage and was preparing to rebuild her life.

After buying an acre of land in Bryant, Ark. and taking out a $ 150k loan, Cara and her four kids did something amazing … they rolled up their sleeves and started building their own home with the help of YouTube videos. The videos they watched on YouTube equipped them with the information they needed to make their big dream a reality. They watched videos to learn everything from how to build a solid foundation and construct countertops to even how to do their own plumbing. By September 2008–after nine months of working 20-hour days–Cara and her kids had finished their dream home. We spoke with Cara about finding hope, the power of YouTube, and why she chose to share her story:

Q: Take us back to the moment you decided to build your own house … what sparked the idea initially?
Cara: I had left a domestic violence situation with my four kids and we were really emotionally destroyed. All the advice I found for improving my life talked about baby steps and small goals. I couldn’t see how just resolving to get dressed in the morning was going to get me anywhere. We needed a safe place to live, and I was determined to do something big. So building a house felt like the most natural solution in the world.

Q: Why did you turn to YouTube?
Cara: We had always had a DIY mindset and we’d used YouTube to make our own jewelry and art projects. So we instantly focused on YouTube as the place to also learn how to set a foundation block or how to frame a window. I also researched energy efficient building ideas on YouTube. YouTube was really our go-to destination for the information we needed throughout the process.

Q: How did your family react when you told them what you were planning to do?
Cara: My parents thought I was absolutely nuts. They tried to talk me out of it and that shocked me. It seemed like such an obvious and perfect solution. Of course once they saw I was going to build it anyhow—yes, they already knew I was a very stubborn girl—they supported me in every way, even showing up on the job site to work.

Q: How did you and your family use YouTube throughout the process?
Cara: We used multiple videos for each project to learn multiple ways to do each thing, like frame a window or run a sewer line. And we tried to understand why each thing was done a certain way rather than just how to do it. Because we were watching at home on a computer (no smartphones!) and would have to remember everything to make it work the next day on the job site.

Q: Was there ever a point where you looked at the construction around you and thought “what have I gotten myself into?!”
Cara: From the day we broke ground, I thought this every single day until we moved in! It was an overwhelming number of decisions and amount of work. But I was the only adult to pull all the kids together and I had to play it confident and cool the whole time. I had to make the decisions and plans and then be the cheerleader. It was emotionally exhausting, but of course incredibly rewarding too.

Q: For anyone out there who may want to learn how to do something but doesn’t know where to start or thinks they can’t do it, what would you tell them?
Cara: Never stop with the phrase, “I don’t know how to do that.” Always add, “YET!” There are no limits to what you can accomplish if you truly want it. And of course that’s because if you want it badly enough you’ll put in a solid effort and endless hours of hard work. Approach each project with steady determination. I was a small computer programmer and an author. If I can build a house with my kids, there is no limit to what other people might accomplish.

Q: Why did you decide to write a book about your journey and what do you hope people take from reading it?
Cara: I never intended to write a book about the house when we were building it. I was pretty ashamed that my decisions had put us in this place, where our sanest option was to build our own shelter. Fiction writing was my big focus at the time. But after we finished, I knew I had to tell our story, not because I wanted other people to look at what we’d done but because I wanted them to imagine the big things they could build with their life. It took me six years to figure out how to write the book in the right away. I had dozens of versions before “Rise” sold. Even then there was a big fear over how people would react and what they would focus on in the story. It’s such a vulnerable time of our lives to share. But we’ve had so much support from across the entire world, and best of all the message people are receiving is that they really can do anything they dream of if they put in enough hard work.

Q: How did this experience impact your kids and your family?
Cara: My kids were so weak and small when we started this project. All our energy went toward survival with no energy left for setting goals or dreaming of a big future. After we built the house we each came away with the sense that absolutely anything was possible. Our dreams are ridiculous, crazy things and we don’t doubt for one second that we’ll achieve them.

YouTube Blog

Deezer’s family streaming plan is now available across Europe

Like most streaming services, music or otherwise, Deezer has a family plan that offers enough individual accounts to cover your whole household for a significantly discounted price. This particular subscription option, however, was previously exclusi…
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Apple Updates iMac Family with Stunning New Retina Displays

Apple has updated the entire iMac family, bringing a new Retina 4K display to the 21.5-inch iMac for the first time and the Retina 5K display to every 27-inch iMac. The updated iMacs also feature more powerful processors and graphics, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, and new storage options that make the high-performance Fusion Drive even more affordable. Apple also introduced a new lineup of wireless accessories including the all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2. “From the first iMac to today, the spirit of iMac has never wavered — deliver the ultimate desktop experience with the latest technologies, gorgeous displays, and cutting-edge designs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “These are the most stunning iMacs we’ve ever made. With our gorgeous new Retina displays, more powerful processors and graphics, and all-new Magic accessories, the new iMac continues to redefine the ultimate desktop experience.”
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More for your family in the YouTube Kids app

It’s been a busy few months for YouTube Kids. In February, we released our app, designed especially for kids, to bring to life the best family-friendly content on YouTube. Since then, families have downloaded YouTube Kids more than 8 million times, consistently ranked YouTube Kids in the top 5 kids apps in the App Store, given an overall 4+ rating on Google Play and watched Stampy Cat explore the world of Minecraft more than 54 million times.

Not bad for a seven-month old.

When we announced the app, we said YouTube Kids was our first step in reimagining YouTube for families. And we’re always looking for ways to make it even better. So today we’re sharing some new ways we’re helping parents and kids enjoy the family content they love:

Discover new videos and watch in new ways

  • Watch YouTube Kids on the big screen: Want to enjoy your favorite videos as a family? Now you can, using Chromecast, Apple TV, game consoles or a smartTV.
  • Explore new videos with guest-curated playlists: Have a budding scientist or eager explorer on your hands? Find out what videos educators, celebs and other parents recommend with guest-created playlists. Playlists from National Geographic Kids, Kid President, and a girl power-themed playlist from Academy Award®-winning actor Geena Davis are already live—and more are coming soon from YouTube creators including Vsauce and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.
  • Enjoy new shows: New videos are produced and uploaded to YouTube Kids every day—including exciting original shows and series from HooplaKidz, TuTiTu, SciShow Kids, DreamWorksTV and more.

Features just for parents

  • Learn how the app works: We also want to make it easier to get started using the app. When parents open YouTube Kids, we’ll explain upfront how our systems choose and recommend content and how to flag videos. We’ll also prompt you to make a choice about how broadly you want your child to explore—turn search on to access millions of family-friendly videos, or turn search off to restrict your child’s experience to a more limited set. Either way, parents decide the right experience for their family from the get-go. This will roll out on the app in the coming weeks.
  • Customize your passcode: We’ve also heard some parents prefer a personal passcode, rather than a spelled-out code, so we’ve added this option to access parental controls.

We always try to make the videos available in the app family-friendly, but no system is perfect. So if you ever find a video you’re concerned about, please flag it. This helps make YouTube Kids better for everyone.

In fact, many of these updates are a result of the great feedback you’ve given us. As you explore YouTube’s library, from “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to learning about the solar system, we’re growing with you. And we’re always excited to hear how we can better help your family explore, learn and sing along.

Posted by Shimrit Ben-Yair, mother of two and YouTube Kids Director of Product Management, who recently enjoyed learning about volcanoes on SciShow Kids and relaxing with Cosmic Kids Yoga’s Calming Playlist with her kids.

YouTube Blog

Introducing the newest member of our family, the YouTube Kids app–available on Google Play and the App Store

Like most parents, I love helping my kids learn more about something they’re interested in. For example, right now, I spend a lot of time on YouTube with my 3-year-old son, who loves watching videos of car washes, Super Simple Songs, and about the universe. We’re not the only ones: Families worldwide are watching millions of videos on YouTube. And lately, those of us at YouTube have been working on a new way for our kids—and yours—to discover and explore videos on every topic in, well, the universe.

Today, we’re introducing the YouTube Kids app, the first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind. The app makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore, and is available for free on Google Play and the App Store in the U.S.

Bright and playful design
Your 4-year-old may already be a swiping expert, but the app’s design makes it even easier to find Pocoyo or the latest episode of Sesame Street’s The Furchester Hotel. With larger images, bold icons and more, it’s fast and simple for little thumbs to navigate. And we’ve built in voice search so that even if your child can’t spell or type, they can still find videos of things they’re curious about.

Family-focused content
For years, families have come to YouTube, watching countless hours of videos on all kinds of topics. Now, parents can rest a little easier knowing that videos in the YouTube Kids app are narrowed down to content appropriate for kids. You can browse channels and playlists in four categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Or search for videos of particular interest to your family, like how to build a model volcano, math tutorials, the amazing (and endless) world of trains—and everything in between.

Along with favorites from DreamWorksTVJim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends and more, your kids can watch new series from YouTube channels they already like. Discover new facts about dinosaurs from National Geographic Kids; learn about technology from Reading Rainbow; or watch Thomas the Tank Engine leave the world of Sodor for the first time in 70 years to travel the globe. Plus, more new videos are coming soon from beloved YouTubers like John and Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers and Stampylonghead.

Parental controls
We realize every family is different, so we’ve built options into the app that help you control the experience for your kids:

  • Timer: Let the app be the bad guy with a built-in timer that lets you limit kids’ screen time. The app alerts your child when the session is over, so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome. 😉 )
  • Sound settings: Sometimes you need a little peace and quiet! You have an option to turn off background music and sound effects, so your kids can keep watching while you catch a breather.
  • Search settings: If you’d rather limit your children to just the pre-selected videos available on the home screen, you can turn off search.
  • Product feedback: Our goal is to improve YouTube Kids all the time, so we’ve included a space for you to give us your feedback.

YouTube Kids is available for free starting today in the U.S. on Google Play and the App Store, and will soon be available on Kurio and nabi kids’ tablets.

This is the first step toward reimagining YouTube for families, but with your help, the app will continue to get better over time. We’re excited to start this chapter with you—so from our family to yours, enjoy!

Shimrit Ben-Yair, mother of two and YouTube Kids Group Product Manager, recently watched “How Big is the Universe” with her kids, along with countless “car wash” videos.

YouTube Blog