Finally following in the footsteps of the dark Apple, Google will begin implementing their very own content rating system for ALL apps available in the Android Market. The new system will revolve around four levels of content ratings including All, Pre-teen, Teen, and Mature.
Starting on November 30th, all developers will be required to login to the Android Market Developer Console and assign a rating for their app. If the request to rate an app is ignored, it will be treated as Mature by default, says Eric Chu of Android Developer Ecosystem. More information about the rating system can be found on the Android Market support page. For Android users who believe an app has been rated incorrectly, they will have the option to notify Google, and parents will also see a form of parental control over which apps their kids can download. Below, for both developers and downloaders alike, are the new rating guidelines that will now rule the market.
Some guidelines of how apps should be rated include:
- Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs: Apps that include references to drugs, alcohol or tobacco products or their use should be rated "Teen" or above. Apps that focus on the consumption or sale of drugs, alcohol or tobacco should be rated "Mature". Illegal activity or content that is targeted at minors is not allowed in Android Market.
- Gambling: Apps with gambling themes or that include simulated gambling should be rated "Teen" or above. Real gambling is not allowed in Android Market.
- Hate: Hate speech is not allowed in Android Market. If your app includes inflammatory content that may be offensive to many users, please rate it "Teen" or above.
- Location: Applications rated "All" should not ask users for their location at any point. Apps that ask to access course or fine location data should be rated "Pre-Teen" or above. Apps that enable users to publish or share their location with others should be rated "Teen" or above.
- Profanity and Crude Humor: Apps that include profanity or crude humor should be rated "Teen" or above.
- Sexual and Suggestive Content: Apps that include suggestive or sexual references should be rated "Teen" or above. Apps that focus on such content should be rated "Mature". Pornography is not allowed in Android Market.
- User Generated Content and User to User Communication: Apps rated "All" should not host any user generated content or enable communication between users. Apps that focus on allowing users to find and communicate with each other should be rated "Teen" or above.
- Violence: Apps that include mild cartoon or fantasy violence should be rated "Pre-Teen" or above. Realistic or intense fantasy violence should be rated "Teen" or above. Graphic violence should be rated '"Mature". Gratuitous real violence is not allowed in Android Market.