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Apple and Google opt out of industry-sponsored app ratings system

post #1 of 7
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The two largest mobile app providers, Apple and Google, will not take part in an application ratings initiative created by CTIA-The Wireless Association, and will instead continue to rely on their own in-house systems.

In an press release on Tuesday, CTIA-The Wireless Association and Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced that a new voluntary rating system for mobile applications would be adopted by six app stores, however Apple and Google were noticeably absent from the list, reports Bloomberg.

The CTIA Mobile Application Rating System, developed by the ESRB, will rate app submissions on a five-point scale, from "everyone" to "adults-only," based on factors like violence and sexual content.

The program was developed to help parents monitor their children as access to internet-connected devices like Apple's hot-selling iPad and iPhone broadens.

It made sense as an industry to provide a ratings mechanism that will provide consumers with information about the content available on the apps, said David Diggs, Vice President for Wireless Internet Development at CTIA. He goes on to say that mobile apps have become a "robust" source of entertainment.

Apple's App Store and the Android Marketplace now offer 500,000 and 300,000 apps respectively, and both companies have existing vetting systems in place.

Weve put a lot of effort into Android Markets rating system, which now works well globally, said Google spokesman Christopher Katsaros. While we support other systems, we think its best for Android users and developers to stick with Androids existing ratings.

Apple declined to comment on the matter, but the company has already outlined its somewhat stringent app review guidelines.

Diggs said that the main goal of the initiative is to get information to the consumer, and he is not concerned that Apple and Google have opted out of the proposed system.
post #2 of 7
I can understand Apple and Google opting out. If it's not broke don't fix it. On the other hand I wonder if the Government will try to regulate this in some way by making Apple and Google participate in an outside source for rating of their App store apps.
An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #3 of 7
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Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

I can understand Apple and Google opting out. If it win broke don't fix it. On the other hand I wonder if the Government will try to regulate this in some way by making Apple and Google participate in an outside source for rating of their App store apps.

This government?? Yeah, they want to control everything else, so why not this???

I think Apple can govern itself, and Google.... They need a ratings system for their malware.
Dr
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Dr
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

I can understand Apple and Google opting out. If it's not broke don't fix it. On the other hand I wonder if the Government will try to regulate this in some way by making Apple and Google participate in an outside source for rating of their App store apps.

Apple and Google are smart to stand clear of this fiasco. A questionnaire and you get you rating in seconds!!! That's not vetting anything. You could lie through your teeth and still get your rating. I know Apple's going to curate their store and will trust their apps. I'm not to sure how good Google will do with Android but if they want their to succeed then they'll have to do what Apple does.

The rest of the app stores will be gamed by Android which will in effect game the CTIA.
post #5 of 7
LOL. Apple kowtows to no one! (And neither does Google, apparently).
However, I didn't think either company were members of ESRB. As far as I'm concerned, Apple is running a digital store front, so it's up to the ESRB members (typically game companies) like Electronic Arts, Activision, etc. to rate their games according to ESRB in the countries that use ESRB standard. Frankly, the ESRB is going beyond its original charter in trying to rate all mobile software.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #6 of 7
I don't need any external agency to judge the appropriateness of any media content for me or my children.

In particular, I don't need America's institutionalized hypocrisy (we decry cartoon violence while our economy is based on the real thing), our morbid shame (sex is dirty - save it for the person you marry), or endless absurd moral hysteria (e.g., vocabulary Nazis and all the rest).

All such ratings systems are variations on protection rackets. Once created, any content which refuses to kowtow goes "unrated," which is tantamount to being accused of making toddler snuff porn. Here's to Apple and Google for telling Carrie Nation to take a flying leap at the moon.

One nation under shame, land of the ignorant, home of the coward.
post #7 of 7
Indeed, Apple's review system is fundamentally flawed for international users, in that the reviews and the rating are taken from the user's LOCAL app store. This is detrimental to the significance of the rating statistics (MUCH smaller samples) and filters out many reviews that otherwise may be relevant.

Indeed, it seldomly happens that an app has merely local relevance.

I can understand that some users have little command of the English language, so some OPTIONAL amount of filtering by language or by national AppStore may still be needed, at least for the reviews.

BTW, Apple seems to ignore suggestions to allow ANY filtering for the ratings and reviews to become more useful.

Verrrry frustrating.

It is rather clumsy (and un-Apple-like) to have to switch to the US store for hunting down apps, only to lose context when switching back to the national appStore for the actual purchase.
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