Developers and Android users will be seeing yet another change to the Market with the implementation of content ratings. Effective November 30th, developers will need to log into the Developer Console to choose from one of four levels of ratings: All, Pre-Teen, Teen, and Mature. The timing of this matches up nicely with Eric Schmidt’s recent comments regarding the release of the Gingerbread SDK (and devices) in the “next few weeks“.
An email being sent to developers today follows the jump.
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
I’m very curious to find out what will constitute a “mature” app? Is this the dawn of a legal porn on Android? Could be all the ammunition Steve Jobs needs to throw another jab at Android. What do you think?
Here are Google’s guidelines as to how to rate your application(s). Sound reasonable enough or do you think there needs to be something else added? Or do you even care enough about the situation?
Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs: Apps that include references to drugs, alcohol or tobacco products or their use should be rated “Teen” or above. Apps that focus on the consumption or sale of drugs, alcohol or tobacco should be rated “Mature”. Illegal activity or content that is targeted at minors is not allowed in Android Market.
Gambling: Apps with gambling themes or that include simulated gambling should be rated “Teen” or above. Real gambling is not allowed in Android Market.
Hate: Hate speech is not allowed in Android Market. If your app includes inflammatory content that may be offensive to many users, please rate it “Teen” or above.
Location: Applications rated “All” should not ask users for their location at any point. Apps that ask to access course or fine location data should be rated “Pre-Teen” or above. Apps that enable users to publish or share their location with others should be rated “Teen” or above.
Profanity and Crude Humor: Apps that include profanity or crude humor should be rated “Teen” or above.
Sexual and Suggestive Content: Apps that include suggestive or sexual references should be rated “Teen” or above. Apps that focus on such content should be rated “Mature”. Pornography is not allowed in Android Market.
User Generated Content and User to User Communication: Apps rated “All” should not host any user generated content or enable communication between users. Apps that focus on allowing users to find and communicate with each other should be rated “Teen” or above.
Violence: Apps that include mild cartoon or fantasy violence should be rated “Pre-Teen” or above. Realistic or intense fantasy violence should be rated “Teen” or above. Graphic violence should be rated ‘“Mature”. Gratuitous real violence is not allowed in Android Market.