Android unveils rating system for apps


Tech giant Google plans to introduce a ratings system for apps in its Android Market to make sure that content downloaded is age-appropriate.

"We will be showing content ratings for all applications on Android Market," wrote Android developer Eric Chu on the Android blog.

"The content policy remains the same as before: applications will be rated according to four content rating levels: All, Pre-teen, Teen, and Mature."

Developers will have to flag up certain types of material and choose which rating their app should fall under. Chu said that developers submitting new or updated applications would be required to include a rating for all applications and games and that any apps that didn't show a rating once the system went live would be classified as "Mature".

Although the system will be welcomed by parents, it will make for interesting discussions between developer and the Google moderators as the guidelines appear vague.

"Apps that include mild cartoon or fantasy violence should be rated 'Pre-Teen' or above," the policy suggested. "Realistic or intense fantasy violence should be rated 'Teen' or above. Graphic violence should be rated 'Mature'."

Likewise, hate speech is not allowed in Android Market, the company says, but continues: "If your app includes inflammatory content that may be offensive to many users, please rate it 'Teen' or above."

Apps suitable for "All" should non not include user-generated content or ask for a users location.