Reflections of App Store ratings

Christopher Breen
19 June, 2009
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I—and, likely you, in the very near future—have been warned. As you may be aware, with the iPhone 3.0 software comes sterner parental controls and restrictions based on ratings applied by iPhone app developers.

Those restrictions are already apparent in certain app updates. For example, an update to the music identification application, Shazam, rolled out today. Because you could presumably identify a song with a naughty word in it, the application has been rated 17+. And because it has been thusly rated, before you can have the download you are warned about its rating and must confirm that you’re 17 or older.

This I did, and the application downloaded as it should.

Only the mature need apply.

What makes this interesting is that this rating and warning gavotte may help smooth out the process of approving apps with mature themes. Force the user to agree to download such an app (and swear they’re of age to do so) and Apple’s responsibilities as censor presumably lighten.

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