Keeping track of the games your kids are downloading on their phones just got a little bit easier today: Apple’s App Store is now prominently displaying age ratings to help you better understand what iPhone and iPad apps are appropriate for your family.
There are four age rating tiers in Apple’s system: 4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+. Apps marked 4+ are appropriate for all, without any “objectionable material.” Apps that have “mild or infrequent occurrences of cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence and infrequent or mild mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content” are giving a 9+ rating, identifying them as inappropriate for children under the age of 9.
If the application has mild language, “or frequent or intense cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence, and mild or infrequent mature or suggestive themes, and simulated gambling,” it will be rated 12+. And for the most hardcore of app store games – those with realistic violence, mature suggestive scenes, and drugs – Apple has a 17+ rating. To buy a 17+ app, it is required you be at least 17 years of age.
If you want to make sure your kids stay away from inappropriate material, you can set your iPad or iPhone to restrict games with certain ratings. To do so, go to your phone’s Settings, then choose General, then Restrictions. There, you can set age restrictions for apps, television shows, movies, music, and more.
For more on the subject of restricting age inappropriate content from your childrens’ devices, check out Techlicious’s guide to setting up your kids tech and our suggestions for finding age-appropriate apps.