Android Content Rating and IARC
Google have stepped up their app security to ensure more users of their apps are protected. This is a good thing but for some a bit of an inconvenience. In short, we have broken it down to show what is important and what isn’t. Thankfully doing these simple parts will see you and your app right in the eyes of Google as part of their Android content rating movement.
Who is doing this and why?
The International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) and its participating bodies ESRB, PEGI and many others globally are working together to ensure people are not getting access to apps that they shouldn’t be.
This will help keep younger kids safer from predators online but also to reduce (not stop) parents getting massive bills because their kids have gone mad with in app purchases.
For app owners, even business app owners it means you or your developer needs to include your app in this movement. It means you need to categorise your app so that Google knows what level of risk the app poses.
This has gone a little beyond the usual “This is an Adult app” and covers things like in app purchases, data sharing and location sharing.
When is this happening?
Pretty much now. As a Google Play Developer we have been contacted about the range of apps we have on the Google Play store. We’ve been told is being enforced quickly. All PC Futures apps are now compliant so our customers can rest easy.
Well you go onto your back end of your Google Play Developer Console and visit your app. Assuming you’re on top of all the other little changes Google have asked for then all you need to do it sort the Content Rating part.
- It asks for an email address.
- It then asks you to pick a category – no obviously business related one here so pick which matches best OR just the bottom option. Utility, Productivity, Communication, Or Other seems to be the catch all for anything which isn’t social media, m-commerce or anything else.
- Then it asks you a range of questions asking does it have violent content, sexuality, offensive language or info on controlled substances.
- Then you hit the Miscellaneous section – here is asks you if users can exchange content, give personal info to 3rd parties or importantly does it share the users current physical location? Does it sell digital goods, have propaganda/symbols or is it a web browser or search engine. Simply stuff for most of us.
Once you have sorted through this just submit it and you are done. It will take some time to be checked by Google but then you’re sorted.
If you don’t complete the Google content rating then your app will be classed as “Unrated”. This means it may not show in the app store or be blocked in certain countries or to specific user groups which isn’t good for most apps.
As this is a global movement I expect it will cause some people big problems as it takes hold.
It is worth spending the time to get this right and complete it as soon as you can. If you have any problems or questions feel free to contact us on 01473 527423.
PC Futures Apps
All clients of PC Futures can rest easy – you are compliant.