Apple's new 'Kids' category, revised guidelines make sense to app developers

Based on their Twitter comments, developers are more than ready to better protect children's use of mobile apps by following the revised iOS guidelines released by Apple.

Apple sent out an e-mail asking its developer community to classify its software as appropriate for use by one of three age groups for users under the age of 11. The classification system is designed to ease the navigation of parents searching for age-appropriate apps in the Apple App Store. The changes will be particularly significant as the "Kids" App category debuts with iOS 7.

The problem of kids making expensive in-app purchases has made international headlines, as has the growing concern for how the behavior of children is being monitored when they use app stores. Children's advocates and those close to the issue immediately cheered Apple's move.

Developers were similarly positive, though they were more direct in suggesting the revised guidelines and category were long overdue.

The reaction by developers varied according to what elements of the guidelines they felt were most important. For some, it was about the way marketers can target children in app stores.

Others said the misuse of in-app purchasing was the biggest problem.

Few seemed ready to criticize or lambaste the guidelines, but some said the boundary lines around developers and children would continue to need to be redrawn.