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Apple readies new App Store 'Kids' category in advance of iOS 7 launch

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ios7 app store press
ios7 app store press

Along with an extensive visual overhaul, iOS 7 users can also expect to see a new section in the App Store aimed at children — and Apple's helping developers get ready for the new rollout. 9to5Mac reports that iOS developers have started receiving emails stating that they can now submit their apps for the Kids section, which is meant specifically for children 11 years old and younger. Apps can be linked to one of three different age ranges: children five and under, children six to eight, and children nine and above. While all apps will be featured in their usual categories per the current behavior, only those that have been tagged with the selected age ranges will appear in the new Kids section (the specialized "kids" subsection currently available in the gaming hub of the App Store will disappear this fall.)

It's just one of several kid-friendly preparations Apple is making in the App Store. Earlier this week, MacRumors reported that Apple had updated its app review guidelines to reflect the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which prevents developers from collecting information like email addresses from children under 13 without the consent of a parent. The new language also sates that children under 13 can't be subjected to customized advertising based upon their behavior within the app, and that they can't be sent outside an app or purchase anything without consent from a parent. As tablets and mobile devices have become increasingly omnipresent, these small considerations have become an increasingly important concern — and selling point — with iOS, the latest version of Android, and the Kindle Fire line of products all offering some sort of restricted access profiles for parents.