imgresThere seems to be some confusion over the Kids category vs. education in the app store…  In July 2013, education apps were the second-most popular category, with a share of 10.83 percent of all apps being learning apps. As of summer 2013, 50 billion apps were downloaded from the App Store. WOW, 50 billion! Somebody help me with the math, that makes uh, 5 billion? And then came the Kids Category. We can’t get a straight answer from developers about what they think about this topic; that may be because there’s fear in ruffling Apple’s feathers. Most teachers and parents tell us that they have difficulty finding what they want in the app store. Of course, that’s why we are here; we direct them straight to Teachers With Apps for answers. It does seem like less and less apps are getting exposure with this new kid category. The pool of apps appearing has been narrowed down and many of the top fav’s have staying power. Notice, the caption, Browse Handpicked Apps & Games by Age… Don’t get me started, but who is handpicking these apps and do we really need to use age as the most delineating factor in placing apps in categories?

The recent change to have a Kids category, in addition to the Education category, is not leveling the playing field and has many developers scrambling as what to do and where to go. The Kids App Store store is not a separate mobile application. To be clear, it is a new section within the Apple App Store itself, which now features an added “Kids” category where apps are broken down by age range. This section of the store separates the apps into three age ranges, spanning those 5 and under, those between 6 and 8, and finally, those for kids between 9 and 11. While all apps will be featured in their usual categories per the current behavior, only those that have been tagged with the selected age ranges will appear in the new Kids section (the specialized “kids” subsection currently available in the gaming hub of the App Store has disappeared) Games has the sub-group Education, which I don’t quite understand. The downside is that the older kids 9-11 are now squeezed between Dora and Duck Duck Moose. Not real appealing for tweens who want to shop there. I am not afraid to say some of the apps in this section make no sense, Toca Tailor for tweens? Really… and Avokiddo is fabulous for the five and over crowd as well as the tots.

photo-4

The good news is that new security measures are now required by developers to have their apps accepted into Apple’s child-only zone.  Apps that are directly targeting children under the age of 13 now have to follow the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requirements. These requirements restrict developers from asking for personal information from kids, unless the information is “for the purpose of complying with applicable children’s privacy statues.” In other words, developers can no longer gather information; personal information can only be collected with parental consent. Additional security features include a mandatory privacy policy and restrictions on in-app activities. The Best Part:  No more spammy pop-ups or in-app purchase requests directed at children, parental consent is needed before a user can navigate outside of the app and make any new purchases.

TWA spoke with developers and we’ve received mixed reviews about the switch, and as stated earlier, they may just not be comfortable putting opinions out there. That is why we are taking a poll. Please visit our poll on this topic and cast your ballot:  Easier to Search Educational Apps or More Difficult with the addition of the “Kids” category?  VOTE HERE

 

App_featured1-1

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn