Next month we are going to see some changes to the Android Market – one of them is the age rating for the apps. Today Google has started sending out emails to the Android developers asking them to add an age rating to their apps before 30th November. According to Google this is a highly requested feature.
Applications will fall under four ratings – All, Pre-Teen, Teen and Mature. The developers are responsible for updating their apps with the appropriate rating – else they will be automatically rated Mature. Google has published a guideline on how to rate the the apps.
Right now it is not clear if it is solely upto the developers to rate the apps. I do not see many developers limiting the exposure their apps by rating them as mature.
This does not mean that there is any change in the type of apps which are allowed in the market. For example porn is still not allowed in the market.
An interesting part of the rating is that concerning location. Any app using location, even for ads, cannot be rated “All”. Apps enables uses to share their locations with others have to be rated Teen or above. This means that the many applications – including Twitter and Facebook app - will have to be rated Teen. Oh well, maybe not many pre-teens use Facebook or Twitter or use smartphones.