The Android Market team announced yesterday that another change to the Android Market would be coming soon, in the form of a content rating system for app listings in the Android Market, similar to how movies and video games are rated. Starting November 30th, a mandatory rating must be applied to every single app in the Android Market.
Below is the message sent out to developers (and AndroidPIT member Jeremiah McLeod) about the upcoming changes:
We're writing to inform you about some changes to Android Market that require your attention.
We are introducing an application content rating and filtering system for Android Market. This has been a highly requested feature from both users and developers. Android Market Content Policy remains the same. We are introducing four levels of content ratings:
Details on how to rate your application can be found in the Android Market Help Center here:
Starting on November 30th, 2010, it will be mandatory that you add a rating level to your apps in the Developer Console at http://market.android.com/publish when you publish or update an app.
We’ll be launching the content ratings to end-users starting in a few weeks. At that time, existing applications left unrated will be treated as “Mature” to ensure an appropriate user experience. This means that unrated apps may not be viewable to many users depending on their setting, so we encourage you to rate your app as soon as possible.
Thanks, and we look forward to continue working with you on Android Market.
The Android Market Team
This change is definitely a step in the right direction for parents worried about their children accessing apps that feature adult content. However, I think more work in this area would have to be done for this change to have a real effect. I am left wondering who, if anyone, will actually be proofing these ratings, and if there will be a system that parents can enable which only allows the downloading of apps that are below a certain rating level.
In the post on the Android Developers site, it is also noted that this change is just one of many new changes that will be revealed in the next several weeks. It feels like Google is starting to take the issues regarding the Android Market much more seriously now, and I am excited to see what changes we will see in the "coming weeks."
Image from Engadget