Introducing HomeTube, a child-friendly launcher that allows kids to easily and safely watch YouTube content.
I was motivated to write HomeTube after I found myself increasingly frustrated observing my children attempt to interact with and navigate the YouTube mobile apps. I couldn't shake the feeling there was an opportunity for an interface that was both vastly simpler and allowed me more control over what was being viewed.
I had also recently read a terrific article which I felt illustrated a gut thought I'd long had quite exceptionally: that taking options, complexity and features away can be a positive feature in itself
. I didn't want my kids expanding the notification shade and accidentally loading the Play Store app. I didn't want my kids opening system settings or even having access to the multitasking button. I wanted an interface where my kids could easily watch the YouTube videos they wanted to watch on a whim, and nothing else
Thus HomeTube was born. The interface couldn't be simpler. HomeTube is configured with child-friendly content which displays in a grid. From there, a child selects the content they want to watch and the top ~20 search results for that category are displayed. One more click and they're watching a video. And that's it.
If you're running Android 4.4, immersive mode kicks in so the system status and navigation bars are hidden. And because HomeTube can be set as a default launcher (you are of course free to use it as a normal app if you chose), I can create user profiles for my children on my Android tablet, and all they ever see is HomeTube
If you're reading this, HomeTube is almost certainly a terrible way for you
to consume YouTube content. But if you have a child who likes to watch the same YouTube content over and over again instantly, HomeTube is a terrific interface for your child to consume YouTube content. And as a parent, HomeTube means I can finish washing the dishes without having to change the current video being played 5 times, so that's particularly nice.
HomeTube is free to use with its defaults, and there's a single 99 cent in-app purchase if you want to customize the content that displays. Enjoy :)
Download HomeTube from the Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=xyz.hometube.playstore
 Obviously I can't guarantee that you and I agree 100% on what is child-friendly content, but sound out in the comments if you feel a default is particularly misguided.