Google back in March announced that all Android apps in the Google Play Store soon would display age-based content ratings. Developers would answer questions in a fairly simple survey (I've done it a dozen times now) and in turn would receive a rating from the International Age Rating Coalition. (More on that here.)
Today, those ratings have gone live in the web version of the Google Play Store, visible just under the app ratings. (Presumably the app-based Google Play Store will show them soon, too.)
The ratings can vary a tad depending on your region. In the United States, they break down as follows:
- E: Suitable for all ages but "May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language."
- E10: Suitable for everyone age 10 and up
- T: Suitable for teens age 13 and up. Throws the possibility of crude humor and minimal blood, simulated gambling and the possibility of strong language into the mix.
- M: For age 17 and up, may include intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and strong language.
- AO: Adults only, ages 18 and up. Intense violence, graphic sex and gambling with real money.
It's not a perfect science. The Android Central app — you can download it here — for instance is rated E10. That's not to say that you can't quickly run into something you might not want your 10-year-old to see. And, ff course, apps will still have to abide by the Google Play guidelines, but think of these as quick-glance ratings, a helpful tool for parents. And more tools are always good to have.