Starting in a few weeks Google will be rolling out content ratings for all applications in the Android Market. The four categories all apps will fall under are:

  • All
  • Pre-teen
  • Teen
  • Mature

It looks like the system will be largely self-policed for now, with Google asking developers who are submitting new or updated apps to include ratings. Developers that aren’t pushing updates will still be expected to issue ratings in the coming weeks, because any app that doesn’t have a rating associated with it by the time ratings are viewable by users will be marked as mature.

If you notice an app that is incorrectly rated, you’ll be able to report it to Google, and the company may penalize developers — even going as far as terminating their accounts. According to Google’s criteria, apps that involve references to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, apps which involve gambling, profanity, violence, or sexual content need to have Teen or Mature ratings.

For the first time, Google also flat out states in the guidelines that pornography and hate speech are not allowed in the Android Market. I guess that’s where third party app stores like MiKandi come in.

Google also suggests that any app that asks for a location should not be rated “All,” and neither should apps which host user generated content.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

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