Apple introduces a Kids category to the App Store

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When Apple upgrade their iOS software my first thought is about how to find the time to plug my phone into the computer, download the new software and update my phone – let’s face it, it’s usually a bit of a rigmarole. But parents might be keen to update their devices pronto, given the new features and capabilities Apple have introduced with iOS 7.

Claiming that iOS 7 is “…the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone”, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, outlined the features of iOS 7 earlier this week. There are many (read all about them here) but the real bonus for parents is that the App Store now has a new Kids category, allowing parents and teachers to easily discover new apps. Currently, apps for children are scattered across a number of categories including Education, Entertainment, Games and Books.

The collection of apps in the Kids category is curated by Apple and can be searched by the age range of children (all iOS apps are assigned an age rating – 4+, 9+, 12+ or 17+). At this stage it is unclear as to who will be responsible for assigning an age range to individual apps – Apple’s curators or the app developers.

Although it hasn’t been specified, I suspect most parents would like Apple to go one step further with their Kids category and set down some ‘rules’ for inclusion, particularly focusing on only including apps free from in-app purchases and advertising.

iOS 7 is coming soon – don’t worry, your device will prompt you to update when it becomes available in Australia!

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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