Last week Google released several changes to the web version of the Android Market, but what may have been overlooked is a change that has been made to the Android Market app that now provides the ability to filter apps that contain content you don’t want to see. If you don’t want to see one of the many wallpaper apps that contain provocative pictures, you can filter out those apps so you don’t see them, provided the developers honestly rate their apps.
To enable content filtering in the Market app, tap Menu, Settings, and select one of the options in the Content Filtering drop-down. Unfortunately, the ratings are too confusing, so you may want to click the link “More About Content Filtering” to read an explanation. If you don’t want to see apps that collect location data, or contain objectionable material, select Everyone.
Parent’s have the ability to lock the content filtering option on their child’s phone. Tap the lock button and enter a numeric pin that has to be entered in order to change the content filtering.
Unfortunately, the reliance on developers to rate their apps creates the possibility that content you don’t want to see is still displayed. Google does provide a way to inform them that an app is not rated properly. Open the app information in the Android Market, scroll down to the very bottom of the page to the Market Content section and tap Flag As Inappropriate. You will then see a list of reasons why you find the application objectionable.
Some people may prefer that Google more actively reviewed and filtered certain apps from appearing in the Market. It is a fine line between having a too heavy a hand and striking the right balance that doesn’t leave everything as a free for all. The ability for users to control what they see in the Market is a good step, and I hope Google quickly acts on the feedback provided to them about apps that are not properly rated.