Heads up, Android app developers, because Google’s making some big changes to the way apps are rated and reviewed.
Google announced today that it’s going to start applying age-based rating to apps and games in the Google Play store. These will include official ratings from the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) and its regional bodies, like the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Pan-European Game Information (PEGI), and Australian Classification Board. In order to receive a rating, developers will take a content rating questionnaire for each app.
Google says that it’s also got humans reviewing apps before submission and also helping to identify developer policy violations earlier in an app’s life. These changes actually went into effect several months ago, and thankfully Google says that there has been “no noticeable change” to the length of time that it takes for an app to be published to Google Play after submission and review.
Google’s new app rating and review policies sound like good changes. The app ratings will make it easier for users to understand the appropriate age for a game or app using a rating system that they’re likely to be familiar with, while the human review system will be helpful because real people are better at understanding details of how apps and the world work, meaning that they’ll be better at making decisions that may not be totally black or white.