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YouTube to launch kid-friendly app exclusively on Android, ahead of Apple's iOS

The prospective launch of Google's new YouTube Kids app could be a boon for families with young children, but those invested in Apple's iOS ecosystem find themselves on the outside looking in as the video site reportedly will not support the iPhone or iPad at launch.

A screenshot of the forthcoming YouTube Kids app, via The Verge.

Update: While Google is readying an iOS version of YouTube Kids, it's not expected until a later date. The eventual launch timing, as well as the cause for the delay, remains unknown.

Google is expected to launch YouTube Kids —designed as a child-friendly entertainment portal —early next week, according to the Wall Street Journal. The app is believed to showcase existing kid-focused YouTube channels alongside some original programming, including new episodes of old favorites like Thomas the Tank Engine and Sesame Street.

A pre-release screenshot shows a user interface designed for young fingers, with only a few large, colorful options. Some rudimentary parental controls are though to be included as well, such as the ability to enforce viewing time limits.

There are any number of technical or business rationales that would explain the choice to delay an iOS variant. The team may have chosen to focus on a single platform in order to meet a launch deadline, or Google may have simply elected to leverage YouTube Kids as a temporary competitive advantage for Android

The iPad has been especially popular with children since its release, and Apple has made a number of moves to secure its advantage. In addition to its wildly successful education initiatives —which have seen the iPad monopolize tablet sales for schools —the company has also employed more low-key tactics, such as replacing Macs with iPads in the kids area at Apple Stores.