The iOS 7 will usher in a new kids games category to the App Store.
The new section will bring childrens games under one roof, instead of listed amongst various other categories such as games, books, education and entertainment, and will spotlight the best apps appropriate for kids based on age.
As the Apple website notes: “Now parents and teachers can quickly find apps that are perfect for children. Just visit the new Kids category for a curated selection of age-appropriate apps.”
As The Guardian reports however, it is currently unclear whether Apple will police age-appropriate content themselves, or whether this will be left up to developers to decide on when submitting their apps.
The moved to create a special children’s section could offer a place for Apple to inform parents about in-app purchases and how children can play such games safely. The Guardian also suggests Apple could set specific rules for individual in-app purchases, which could be considered a response to the UK Office of Fair Trading’s investigation into IAPs in children’s games.
Last month, Develop conducted an investigation of 400 games featuring in-app purchases across the iOS and Android app stores, and discovered that, on the App Store, only 29 per cent of titles mentioned they contained IAPs.
On Google Play meanwhile, just 27 per cent of free games in the top 200 highest grossing chart displayed warnings.
A new childrens category on the App Store could go a long way to fixing some of the issues on the App Store by encouraging developers and Apple itself to be more open about in-app purchases and educate parents on the business model.
You can read our full investigation into in-app purchases here.