Verizon to use CTIA's mobile app ratings system for its storefront
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has integrated the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System into all apps available for download from its Verizon Apps storefront, making it easier for consumers to identify age-appropriate content.
CTIA-The Wireless Association and the Entertainment Software Rating Board unveiled the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System late last year. The system applies the same ESRB ratings criteria and symbols awarded to console videogames, spanning from Everyone (suitable for ages 6 and up) to Adults Only (content appropriate for users 18 and older). All applications available in Verizon Apps now display an age rating category and corresponding symbol.
Developers submitting their applications to storefronts supporting the CTIA/ESRB program are asked to complete a multiple choice questionnaire to assess factors like violence or sexual content and language, as well as elements including a minimum age requirement, user-generated content exchange and location data sharing. Each app submitted for approval is issued a certificate and a unique identifying code that may be subsequently submitted to other storefronts during their system onboarding processes. There is no cost to developers who submit their apps for ratings classification; developers may also appeal their rating to the ESRB.
In addition to Verizon Wireless, rival operators AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), T-Mobile USA and U.S. Cellular as well as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have pledged their support for the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System, although none have yet rolled out the initiative across their respective app storefronts.
Conspicuous by their absence in the CTIA/ESRB program are Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). CTIA Vice President of Wireless Internet Development David Diggs said in November 2011 that the organization approached Apple and Google during development of the program, but both companies preferred to stick with their existing app store submission and rating processes. "We'd love to see them join, but we're content if they want to go about this on their own," Diggs said. Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry App World also maintains its own ratings system.
- read this release
Apple, Google forgo CTIA's new app rating system
FTC voices concern over violence in mobile games
Verizon, Exent team for all-you-can-eat Android gaming
Verizon Wireless to offer bundled app package for smartphones
Verizon courts enterprise devs with Private Applications Store for Business