A Closer Look at Apple’s New “Kids” App Store

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Last week’s iOS7 update brought more than just a new look and feel to Apple devices – it also revealed a shiny new “Kids” category within the growing App Store. The update, which was first hinted at earlier this summer during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, separates child-specific apps into three age ranges, spanning those 5 and under, children between the ages of 6 and 8, and kids between 9 and 11.

As a parent, there’s plenty to appreciate about this new format – provided you know what to look for. Here’s what you can expect the first time you browse the kids section.

Getting There

The easiest way to access the Kids section of the app store is via the “Categories” option on your Apple device. This can be accessed in the top left-hand corner of your iPhone or iPod, or by clicking the “More” option in the App Store on your iPad.

Click the “More” option in the App Store on your iPad to access the Kids category.

Click the “More” option in the App Store on your iPad to access the Kids category.

Once in the Kids section, a quick glance tells you exactly where to go for apps that are suited to your child’s learning level.  Curated areas also enable parents to quickly browse by thematic app collections, including “Shapes & Colors” and our personal favorite, “Interactive Kids Stories.” Popular brands are also highlighted in the store, including a fantastic Boynton Moo Media super room dedicated to all of Sandra Boynton’s best selling story and music applications.

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The “Interactive Kids Stories” area is where you’ll find some of our best apps.

Increased Security

Though there’s a lot of crossover between the new Kids section and the more general “Education” area, parents will be excited to note that new security measures are now required in order for developers to have their apps accepted into Apple’s child-only zone.  As such, apps that are aimed directly at children under the age of 13 will 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 for targeting ads; what’s more, personal information can only be collected with parental consent.

Additional security features include a mandatory privacy policy, and restrictions on in-app activities. And the best part? No more spammy pop-ups or in-app purchase requests directed at your child; parental consent must be granted before a user can navigate outside of the app and onto the web for the purpose of commerce.

Changes to Loud Crow Apps

Upgrading Loud Crow’s library of digital apps has involved minimal effort on our part, mostly because these “new” policies weren’t all that new to us. Child safety has always been a top priority for our development team; Apple’s new standards have simply provided us with a more standardized approach. That being said, parents will now find redesigned child locks and a more robust “Parents Area” in all of Loud Crow’s digital applications.

“At Loud Crow, we believe it’s imperative that we are providing a secure environment for children to enjoy our award-winning content. Calvin_speechbubbleEstablishing trust with parents and educators goes hand in hand with our commitment to upholding our reputation for producing the highest quality experiences in the industry.”

– Calvin Wang, Founder & CEO

Curious to learn more about Loud Crow’s commitment to in-app safety features? Stay tuned to the Loud Crow blog – we’ll be posting a more in-depth piece on our child privacy and safety features shortly!

 

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