IRVING, Texas—Research in Motion has released new developer guidelines for Blackberry apps, and the content ratings suggest that developers interested in creating apps that would be rejected outright by Apple will find a welcome reception at RIM. We're talking sex, in case anyone didn't get the Apple reference.
"It's no surprise that RIM decided to add ratings to App World, along with new ways to filter app searches by rating and on-device controls that allow users to block certain content from showing up in searches," wrote Al Sacco for cio.com. "What's particularly interesting is RIM's stand on the acceptance of sexual, violent and/or drug-related content: the BlackBerry-maker seems to be fine with all of it."
The following are the "Adult" definitions as they apply to different sorts of content:
Adult: Content that is generally recognized as appropriate only for or that is legally restricted to persons at least the age of majority in their region
Violence: Extreme depictions of graphic violence appropriate only for or legally restricted to persons at least 18 years of age
Sexual Content: Graphic sexual content, graphic nudity, or content appropriate only for or legally restricted to persons at least 18 years of age
Alcohol, tobacco, drug use: Content designed to encourage/promote drug or alcohol abuse, or content appropriate only for or that is legally restricted to persons at least 18 years of age
Gambling: As permitted by law for persons at least 18 years of age
Thus far, it doesn't look like anyone has taken RIM up on its liberal policy, but that may change soon, and the Blackberry-maker seems determined to do what it can to encourage such development.
"The default rating filter in BlackBerry App World is set to 'Adult'—which is all content in the BlackBerry App World storefront," the company told developers last November, when it announced the new content ratings. "This means that when consumers upgrade, they’ll still see your apps and themes—nothing to worry about. When consumers upgrade to BlackBerry App World 3.1, they’ll be able to change their rating filter."
According to Sacco, no current Blackberry apps are yet offering anything close to porn, or even any nudity, but he does provide a short list of apps that are creeping in that direction. It's safe to say within a few months we'll see far more explicit fare.
The Blackberry Developer's Blog is here.
The Blackberry App World is here.