Feeds

Apple fine-tunes app censorship

Will the f-bomb find a home?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Apple will extend parental controls to applications in its upcoming iPhone 3.0 software and iTunes 8.2, thus helping to calm some of the ongoing brouhaha over its erratic App Store censorship policies.

According to a report by 9to5 Mac, the next versions of the iPhone OS and iTunes will allow parents to set age-appropriate limits on app downloads for their iPhone-toting ankle-biters.

Apps, according to the report, will be rated at four levels: 4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+. Why on god's green earth a three-year-old would have an iPhone? We'll leave that aside for the moment. Adding ratings to apps will help Apple prevent such embarrassments as its recent censorship of an Nine Inch Nails app update.

That is, of course, if Apple's morality police deem the f-bomb suitable for even the 17+ crowd.

Currently, the iPhone has rudimentary parental controls that allow simple blocking of services, but not age-based restrictions. In the current system, a user - or a user's parent - can create a four-digit passcode to enable restrictions in Settings > General > Restrictions, then choose to allow or disallow "Explicit" iTunes downloads, Safari, YouTube, the iTunes app, installation of apps from the App Store, and the camera.

iPhone Restrictions controls

To enable restrictions on an iPhone's use (left), you first need to set a four-digit passcode (right)

Come to think of it, that last restriction could have prevented those sexting Pennsylvania teens from landing in a heap of trouble.

Current restrictions in iTunes are richer than those on the iPhone, with more fine-grained choices such as by movie and TV ratings and age appropriateness of games. If 9to5 Mac's report is correct, the games restrictions will be expanded to all apps.

Which brings up a logistical question: During the company's most recent financial-results webcast, Apple's acting commandant Tim Cook announced that there are now over 35,000 applications in the App Store. Will Apple's censors now go back and rate each and every one as to its age-appropriateness? And will they issue clear and cogent guidelines describing how such appropriateness will be judged?

We welcome Apple's fine-tuning of its App Store censorship policies. But we don't expect that arguments over what is and what isn't objectionable will end with the addition of age-appropriateness ratings. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?