Yesterday, we finally got to hear about the fruits of CTIA and the ESRB’s efforts to introduce a new app ratings system that mirrors those already available for video games and computer software. While Microsoft will adopt the system for Windows Phone apps, Google and Apple declined the opportunity to introduce them to the Android market and App Store. One major player we hadn’t heard from was RIM, and it looks like all this talk of ratings has convinced the company to emulate Google and Apple, introducing its own ratings system instead of using the proposed standard.
App World 3.1 will be out on December 15, and its arrival will mark the introduction of app ratings to RIM’s store. Developers have until then to submit their own evaluations of app content, or else RIM will take the responsibility upon itself, assigning ratings based solely on app type (games being marked as more mature than productivity titles, for instance). The ratings RIM will be using aren’t actually that different from the ESRB system, with categories like Teen and Mature.
Once the new App World arrives, you’ll be able to set filters so that only apps at a specific maturity level or lower will be displayed. It’s odd that it’s taken so long for RIM to get a ratings system together, but we’re glad to see it finally getting here.