ay Store ‘Designed for Families’ program will feature kid-friendly Android apps

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 15 Apr 2015

says it’s launching a child-friendly version of the Android app store in a few weeks, is seeking developers to help build it.

Developers can submit their apps if they meet certain advertising content guidelines. will then display these apps in a “new family experience so that parents can find suitable, trusted, high-quality apps games more easily,” the company said on its developer portal.

It’s unclear exactly how the Designed for Families section will work, but says it will offer apps in six categories: Action & Adventure, Brain Games, Creativity, ucation, Music Video, etend ay. The existing “Family Games” section of the ay Store will be deprecated in 2015.

The story behind the story:  has been talking about offering kid-friendly versions of its apps services since last year, in February the company launched a kids version of YouTube for iOS Android (though not without complaints). But the creation of a family-friendly ay Store section is a bigger deal. It means parents will have a much easier time controlling their children’s activities, especially when paired with user profiles, will allow Android as whole to better compete with the kid-centric services on Amazon devices.

Stricter rules for children’s apps

According to the program requirements, all apps must have a content rating equivalent to ESRB Everyone or Everyone 10+. Advertisements also need to be kid-friendly, with no depictions of violence, nudity, drugs, or gambling, no trailers for any film rated higher than .

More importantly, developers will need to adhere to strict requirements on how their ads behave, in part because of federal child privacy protection rules. Apps cannot use interest-based advertising, ads must be distinguishable from the main content. Ad placement must be limited to one per page, apps cannot use “ad walls” that force the user to interact with it. Interstitial ads are still allowed, but can’t pop up immediately after the app launches.

is also telling developers to only include its + Sign-In or ay game services as an optional feature, only if the app is targeted at more than just children.