In an effort to help parents more easily determine which apps are family friendly, the search giant has announced a new program today that it calls “Designed for Families.” Under the new program, developers can apply to have their apps specially designated as safe for families with children in the Google Play Store.
Google said it wants to recognize and support app makers that are making content designed to “educate and entertain” kids, and this move will certainly help parents make sense of the over one million apps currently available on Google Play.
This move also follows in the footsteps of Google’s new YouTube Kids app that it released in February, which filters out age-inappropriate content but still shows lots of ads for anything from toy manufacturers to McDonalds, making it somewhat controversial among consumer advocates. It’s possible that Google hopes its latest move might take away some of the negative attention it’s gotten lately over YouTube Kids.
To be considered family friendly, app makers must go through a review process, and games must also receive an appropriate rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. App makers can apply now but the label won’t start appearing for consumers for a couple weeks.[Google]