Another high five to the folks over at the Apple iTunes App Store! We recently wrote about their decision to make in-app purchasing information more prominent on each app’s purchasing page and rejoiced with all the parents who’s lives this decision will make easier. Now, we are calling another victory for parents everywhere with the App Store’s recent decision to move app age ratings to the top of the app purchasing page. No more scrolling all the way to the bottom of the screen to see if the app is age appropriate for your child. Now, the age rating will be located at the top of the page, just below the app title and developer name.
Although Apple has not officially commented on the age rating placement change, it is pretty simple to assume that they are attempting to make things better for parents who are concerned about what kind of app content and ads their children might be exposed to. We recently saw an incident all over the news about a photo-sharing app being removed from the app store due to nudity in the ads. While it was later put back with a 17+ rating, many parents of children who were exposed to such content were still up in arms.
The App Store currently uses a four-category rating system. 4+ is used when there is no objectionable material to speak of, 9+ is used when there may be mild, infrequent, or cartoon violence, 12+ is applied when there may be offensive language, gambling or violence, and of course, 17+ is reserved for apps that contain adult content.
Previously, age ratings were difficult to locate (if they were located at all) and required parents to scroll all the way to the bottom of the purchasing screen. Now, with the changes, parents will be able to see, immediately, if the app is appropriate for their child or not.