Android News

Android Market filters mature content but has one fatal flaw

May 16, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka



Among the many, many, changes to the Android Market announced in recent weeks, Android users can now personalize their Market by filtering out apps marked as mature. Turning on app ratings will then block Android apps that have a maturity rating higher than the setting that a user chooses (Everyone, Low, Medium, or High).

Android Market filtering is great, but the problem is that it relies on developers to be honest and accurately rate their apps. Considering how many developers cheat search results by putting in keywords that have absolutely nothing to do with their app, trusting devs to be honest seems silly. That’s as crazy as letting the banking industry police itself.

I grow tired of seeing “Sexy Girl” wallpaper apps every time I search for new Android apps, so I set my Android Market to only show apps available to “Everyone.” But instead of blocking all of the crappy sexy apps, Everyone merely dropped the number of those apps from to 1,164 to 182. It’s good to see a decline that steep, but 182 is still a large number of offensive apps trickling into what should be a mature-free browsing experience.

Google tries to balance parents’ desire to shield their children from inappropriate material and allow willing adults to find the content that they want. Sadly, filtering isn’t going to be a completely successful way of obtaining that balance because there will always be a relatively small group of rogue developers who are dishonest and purposely mark their mature content to the lowest setting in order to attract more attention.

Android users can alter their filter settings by taking the following steps:

  1. Launch the Android Market
  2. Press Menu > Settings
  3. Tap “Allow apps rated” and make your decision
  4. Tap the Lock icon to enter a numeric pin required to change settings in the future (optional)