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Apple adds age subcategories for kids to help parents pick apps

Definitely ideal for parents that aren’t sure where to start on the App Store, Apple added three new subcategories in the Games for Kids section of the App Store earlier today. Specifically, parents and kids can now filter games by age criteria that includes “Ages 5 & Under, ” “Ages 6-8.” and “Ages 9-11.” Any application that’s categorized in these sections has been vetted by Apple specifically to make sure app developers aren’t collecting personal data from children under 13 without parental consent.

Games and productivity apps in the youngest tier include storybook applications as well as apps to learn shapes, colors and sounds. As parents and kids progress up to the next two tiers, the applications include puzzle games, platformers and educational tools. Apple is also highlighting a free, 20-page e-book that’s called Family Time with Apps. This book offers tips that helps parents choose the right apps for their child as well as show parents how apps can be experienced together with their kids.

Interestingly, Apple specifically notes all applications that include the feature to purchase more content within the app. Parents that don’t want their child to play games that could end up costing additional charges can simply avoid those applications completely.

During early 2014, Apple settled with the Federal Trade Commission for approximately 32 million dollars after the company got in hot water for allowing children to make in-app purchases without parental consent. Specifically, Apple was in trouble for not informing parents that entering a password to authorize a purchase would also authorize all purchases made over the next 15 minutes without having to enter the password again. Some parents discovered that their children had racked up thousands in App Store charges after entering their password once to authorize a single purchase of a new application.