Gate External Links in Kids’ Apps

Photo of wall and gate by Henning Kesselhut on Unsplash

Release after release, Apple raises the bar on its requirements for inclusion in its app store.  Sometimes these are welcome technical changes, like explicit user permission to access contacts.  Other times they feel more like hurdles for app developers and users to jump – or in this case, the appropriate metaphor is stepping through a flimsy backyard gate.

iOS 7 introduced a new requirement for kids apps:

24.3 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 must get parental permission or use a parental gate before allowing the user to link out of the app or engage in commerce

This requirement was probably inspired by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which establishes rules related to collecting personal data from children.  Apple applies the requirement to interface elements like iTunes app store links and social sharing buttons.  However, the requirement is remarkably non-specific as to what constitutes a sufficiently sturdy parental gate.

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First Impressions from Apple’s WWDC Keynote

Software screen capture

A new iOS release has been announced, and before the echo of the carefully selected exit music has stopped reverberating in Moscone West the pundits have already tweeted, posted and blogged their opinions. This is the sport of being an Apple fan.

Has form outpaced functionality in this upgrade? Let’s look at what iOS 7 changes and how it might help you do what you need to do.

Game on.

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