Content ratings coming to BlackBerry App World 3.1 - Developers make sure you rate your apps

Content Ratings
By Bla1ze on 30 Nov 2011 03:39 pm EST

While this information may not mean a whole lot to the average user right now -- it certainly does give a little bit of insight as to when we can expect in the next version of BlackBerry App World and when it will roll out to end users. Plus, it serves as a reminder for BlackBerry developers out there to get this done up as soon as possible. Over at the BlackBerry Devleopers Blog today, RIM has let Devs know that from now until December 15th you'll need to login and rate your apps according to their content.

On Wednesday November 30th, 2011 we will be performing a server upgrade that will bring content rating to the storefront. Our content rating system has been planned out based on input from our carrier, consumer, and developer partners to make sure we’ve implemented a content rating system that helps parents control what types of content their children have access to.

After the upgrade is complete, all applications and themes in the BlackBerry App World storefront will receive a default rating. The majority of apps will be rated G (General). If your app or theme is in one of the categories listed below, it’ll receive a rating of T (Teen).

In addition to these categories, apps and themes with descriptions that contain the terms “BBM™”, “Facebook®”, “Twitter®”, “chat”, “dating”, “social networking” and “message” will also receive a default rating of T (Teen).

When the new BlackBerry App World rolls out on December 15th, BlackBerry users will be able to set a rating filter on devices and once that filter is set -- content within those filter boundries are all that will be able to be viewed in BlackBerry App World. So, for instance if you set the device to "G" rating, only "G" rated apps will be able to be viewed.

Source: BlackBerry Dev Blog

Reader comments

Content ratings coming to BlackBerry App World 3.1 - Developers make sure you rate your apps


Didn't android and ios regect a rating system? Is this beter than the esrb thing or not? Seems like everyone is now rating or hates rating apps.

It's a way to keep the ESRB at bay. Google and Apple recently rejected their rating scheme for their marketplaces, so RIM is following suit. The ESRB way is much more work for developers it seems.

wow!! thats poor. let me elaborate before you try to disagree.

if i upload a theme, and lets say i put a shortcut for BBM on the main page, and i state i have, then its `teen` rated, however if i dont say so, then its not? and this is for a native app?

im sorry, but i honestly think this is wrong, an app/theme should be judged by its content, not its description. all this will lead to is some highly dubious descriptions to avoid the ratings systems.

Well the rating will be the default but you can change it (at least based on what I can tell).

I know you talked about themes specifically, but if someone released an app that had BBM support, RIM can't garentee that what happens on BBM will be... kid frendly. So they give it a slightly higher rating. It's like when the ESRB says "online play not rated" because they can't control what someone says or does online.

The ratings are what you think it should be rated for, it's not RIM determined.

i get your point, and yes a rating system would be helpful for parents, but content should be rated by its content, not description.

for example, a theme doesnt enable any feature that isnt already there (hence it being the perfect example of this flaw), so unless adult images are inculded, there can be no difference between them in terms of rating, yet by this rule of `bbm` being mentioned in the description making it teen, is simply rediculous, the ability of the device hasnt changed, and the content not adult or teen rated, but the use of one phrase makes it teen rated? no way.

I don't see what the problem is here. Why would you have the word BBM in your description anyways? If it does have the word BBM in it for some reason (maybe a BBM-style theme), then just log in to the ISV portal and change it from the default Teen rating to 'G'

The reason they automatically rated apps with BBM in the description at "T" is because it implies it is a BBM-connected app, which counts as user-generated contents, which qualifies it for a Teen rating.

lets say you have keyboard shortcuts for apps (alot of themes do) and in all of them you have BBM shortcuts, now personally i have over 90 themes for sale in appworld, as you can tell, that would take a long time to change over, and there are devs with even more in there, so the ammount of time it`ll take to change it is silly.

but your missing the main point, how is BBM not `general` rated, when its an application that is integral to the OS and comes preinstalled. any additional social app i can kinda get, but if it comes on the device, then surely its `general` from the get go.

either way, rate something on its content, not its description. the description is easy to spoof the system, content isnt.

There is porn in Android? I know there is a vibrator app, sex position app, so on RIM's App World.

I'm currently working on a gore-filled game, so this is good news to me! I was wondering whether a game with simulated violence would be accepted to App World. Now I know!

Also, it looks like they've updated the look of the ISV portal. The purchase graph is a little more readable, but aside from that, no real usability upgrades :(

I feel that RIM/BlackBerry should hold yearly App contests!

~Prizes for top developers in various categories, especially for the emerging NFC-Commerce apps.

~One super-category for Apps--> RIM/BlackBerry's award is so huge that RIm/BlackBerry has the option to purchase the Intellectual Rights of the App and App coding itself. ie: RIM/BlackBerry has the option to "own" the app.

For example, a sliding screen mechanism to unlock your BlackBerry is needed, would be such a candidate for above super-category. Apps that would be great for 90%+ of users who feel it's useful, to be incorporated into BlackBerry OS !

I love my BB 9810 I think it is the best Blackberry I have owned. I am excited for all the new platforms that will becoming in the future. I think Blackberry has the best phones! I can't wait to try the BBX phones when they come out. Go Blackberry!

The thing is, for me, this seems as if it is only one step because the way this can be useful if parents could limit their kids access to certain apps in app world. With ratings, parents easily block certain rated apps from appearing in the app world on the phone. But in order for that to happen, RIM is going to have to create a portal for parents to manage their children's devices, similar to how the it department whitelists/blacklists apps.