CTIA Proposes New App Content Rating Practices

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Smartphones have made significant inroads to upstaging dedicating handheld consoles as the hardware of choice for mobile gaming. With phones like the Xperia Play on the way, more kids than ever are going to be picking up smartphones and downloading apps. While all the major app stores have systems in place to police their content, ranking apps based on their age-appropriateness, CTIA is hoping to bring everyone together on the same page to make it easier to judge which apps are appropriate for children of varying ages, with its new app rating initiative.

Apple breaks down its app ratings with four age cut-offs, limiting what content’s allowed for children of which age, while Google offers an estimation of what maturity level each app may be appropriate for. The stores have their own standards for what pushes an app over into the next bracket. Hopefully CTIA’s efforts would create less ambiguity for everyone involved; developers would be less likely to face the wrath of upset parents, and parents would be more enabled to control what their children are exposed to.

Behind the scenes, CTIA wants to create a database where developers can answer questions about their apps and get an automated assessment of what rating the app should receive. Though there’s no indication this database would be made public, it sounds like it would serve as an even more useful tool for keeping parents informed.

CTIA members include Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

Source: CTIA

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!