Google released Chromecast with Google TV last year, which uses a modified version of Android TV. The modified software is still compatible with all Android TV apps, but it differs in a few important ways, including how it handles multiple users. After many people were annoyed by the absence, parental control comes to the Google TV platform.

Android on phones and tablets has offered robust multi-user support since the Jelly Bean days, but very little of that functionality was ever ported to the TV operating system. Android TV only has an optional limited profile, where certain apps can be hidden using a four-digit PIN. The Play Store, most system settings and even some storage folders are completely blocked in this mode. Google TV’s implementation is slightly different, with limited support for multiple users based on Google Accounts, but secondary users can still not set their own home screen, have separate app data or configure different streaming accounts.

Google TV account selector

Poor support for multiple users is definitely a problem on something that is usually shared across all people in a household, but fortunately Google is working on a (partial) solution. A company representative said in a support thread that Google TV will soon have ‘Kid Profiles’, which sounds like Android TV’s original restricted profiles:

Just wanted to post an update that Kids Profiles should be rolled out next month (or so). Limited profiles are actually being phased out in and replaced by the new “Kids Profiles” feature, which allows you to set up a safe place for children in google TV. During boarding, you can choose which apps you want to make available to children. Youtube children are available by default, and other installed apps require parents to sign up before they are made available to the child. Leaving the child profile can be limited by a PIN code to prevent children from accidentally returning to the parent account.

This is still not true support for more users, but it should at least address complaints from parents that children can access content on Google TV. Here you are hoping for a quick rollout.