13 June 2012

Is that app appropriate?

Everyone is familiar with the rating system for TV and movies, G, PG, M, MA15+ etc., and they’re now also on video games.  But you may not be aware that there is also a rating system for apps.  This is very important, as apps range from interactive books and games for toddlers through to adult only content, and the name of the app doesn’t always give you an accurate idea of what it is.  Be extra  careful if your child is doing the downloading – especially if their spelling’s not too good yet – they wouldn’t want to end up with Kandi (porn), if they really wanted Candy Train.

Every app sold through iTunes, and the Google Android Market is rated for age-appropriateness.  However, each operating system works a little differently…

The iTunes Store has four age limit categories ranging from 4+ to 17+.

Google’s Android Market also has a 4-tier rating system in place, but the levels are descriptive instead of age-based - everyone, low maturity, medium maturity, and high maturity.

Even though they have different rating systems, it’s not too difficult to find common ground.  This table may help. 

The important point is that all apps are now rated, so parents can make an informed decision about an individual app’s suitability.

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