updated 06:35 pm EST, Fri December 2, 2011
Content filtering on phones available mid-month
RIM has started to assign content ratings to apps downloadable through its BlackBerry App World storefront. On Wednesday, the company updated its servers and began giving one of four labels to apps. Later this month, RIM will be rolling out a client-side filtering update to its smartphones.
The four categories of ratings range from "G" (General), suitable for all ages, to "A" (Adult), which is assigned to adult content intended for those aged 18 or older. In between, RIM is creating a "T" category for teens, aged 13 and older, and an "M" (Mature) rating for anyone aged 17 and up.
The majority of apps will be rated "G", but certain apps or themes will receive a "T" label. In addition, apps and themes that contain the terms "BBM," "Facebook," "Twitter," "chat," "dating," "social networking," or "message" in their descriptions also will also receive a "T" default rating to avoid any controversy.
RIM will begin releasing the update on December 15 for its phones. With it, phone users will be able to set a rating filter that hides everything above a certain rating BlackBerry App World catalog. The default rating filter for the catalog is set to "Adult," but it can be turned off altogether.
RIM has not said when the BlackBerry Playbook might get the update.
Content specific default ratings
Form for content developers to submit to obtain rating