When Steve Jobs announced the Mac App Store yesterday, my first feeling wasn’t excitement, but rather worry. My concern is that the Mac App Store will, perhaps in two or three years, become the only effective channel through which Mac developers can sell their apps.
Even if your kids understand the value of a dollar, do they appreciate how quickly they add up when using an iOS device? Unprotected iDevices can lead to big accidental iTunes charges. Here’s how to stop that from happening to you and your family.
The fact that they included parental controls for games in the 3.0 beta sort of hinted at this, but along with the iPhone 3.0 update today came app ratings, which appear rather inconspicuously under the app’s price and buy button on the detailed info screen. It also appears next to an app’s name in the list view of the iTunes store browser.
Interestingly, all apps appear to be getting a rating, as I checked out even one so innocuous as HP’s MediaSmart Server iStream app and found that it was “not yet rated.” It may be that all harmless utilities will receive this nondescript side-stepping of a rating going forward. Read More about Apple Implements App Ratings/Restrictions for iPhone, iPod Touch
Another new feature has surfaced in iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 (though it appears to have been available in beta 4, I just discovered), and this one should come as welcome news to beleaguered and frustrated developers dealing with inappropriate content-based rejection. Parental controls are now available on the iPhone, just as was hinted recently in a rejection letter to the developer of Newspaper(s), a news aggregation app.
The new controls should also please Trent Reznor, who recently had a very high-profile and vocal (albeit one-sided) argument with Apple (s aapl) over their rejection of an update to his app for objectionable content. Much like Google’s Safe Search filtering, they allow iPhone owners to restrict the types of apps which are allowed to be installed on their iPhone. This means that poor little Johnny might soon have to go without Bikini Blast, for instance, if his parents get wise to the new features. Read More about Apple Brings Parental Controls, 3G Data Failure to iPhone OS 3.0