Understanding the Android Market content ratings

I’ve got to rate my apps now???

Today, Google announced its intention to roll out content ratings for the Android Market. As we understand it, in the next release of the Android Market, users should be able to view content ratings all applications in the market. These ratings are going to be self-reported, meaning that the developers are responsible for determining where they fall on the rating scale.

We’ve taken a read over the guidelines here at MiKandi HQ to better understand the changes and to understand how it impacts mobile app developers. We think that what’s going on here is that Google’s working to better service the needs of parents and households where multiple people might be accessing an Android-powered device. Look at the categories that they’ve delineated aside from the “All” category and they’re all age-focused, utilizing parental terminology. Actually, on the terminology topic, we’ve got to say that this tweet made us crack up:

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It’s about who’s allowed to see what

We highly recommend taking a look at the guidelines that Google shared on how to rate your application for the Android Market, but here’s our understanding of the limitations, displayed a bit more visually:

AndroidMarketLimitations

Clarity is a great thing

To us, this announcement from Google is an excellent step. We hear from developers on a regular basis that they’re very concerned about being on the wrong side of one of the app store operators. This announcement gives app developers the tools to self-report about what they’re doing and gives them more clarity about which consumers will be allowed to use their apps. It appears that there are big areas of ambiguity in this framework (inflammatory, for example, strikes us as a very tough one) but at least there’s a logic that’s been proposed by Google and developers can reference it. We’ll be watching closely to see how this plays out for developers and how many people adopt the self-rating system.

As the creators of the world’s first app store for adults, obviously we’re paying attention to what happens to developers placed in the “Mature” bucket and how the guidelines are interpreted. While we’ve seen a number of developers opting to publish in both the Android Market and the MiKandi marketplace to date, we think that the clarity from Google makes it more clear as to which apps should be looking at MiKandi as their primary marketplace. While we didn’t know that these content ratings were coming from Google, we’re really pleased to have just completed a massive overhaul of our app store and to launch paid app support. For developers who find themselves impacted by these rules from Google, we look forward to working with you – be sure to head on over to http://developer.mikandi.com if you haven’t already registered with us.

 

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