Apple updates App Store content ratings system with new descriptions and market-specific ratings

Apple has made some changes to the way it handles content ratings in the App Store, as outlined in an email (included below) sent to developers today. These ratings aren’t the five-star reviews that users assign apps, but the age-based restrictions assigned to each app based on the type of content in the app. While most apps are rated 4+ (the lowest), some that contain violent or potentially offensive content may have higher ratings (as seen above).

Starting today, developers will be able to assign a few new content descriptions to their apps in order to help better determine what age group the software is appropriate for. These new descriptions include “Medical/Treatment Information, Gambling and Contests, and Unrestricted Web Access.” That last one is good news for many developers previously forced to use a 17+ rating just because their app included a web browser that could be used to accesss anything on the web.