Apple’s new Maps app in iOS 6 has been a constant source of entertainment since its launch. Beyond the laughs, Apple going with their own Maps app underscores a very important point – Apple now sees Google as their main competitor. To that end, Apple may be engaging in some decidedly anti-Google tactics.
As pointed out by Thomas Baekdal on Google Plus, Apple has retroactively rated the Google Chrome app as 17+. They say the app contains frequent and/or intense mature/suggestive themes. The description accurately describes the Internet, but that’s only if you’re going to specific unsavory areas.
Before you cry fowl, Apple is doing this to all the browsers in the Appstore. The Opera Mini Web Browser, another popular mobile browser, has been rated 17+ for the same reasons.
In a far more hilarious turn, Apple has rated the Dolphin Browser 17+ for the following reasons:
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Infrequent/Mild Simulated Gambling
Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence
It’s hard to say if Apple would rate Safari the same way since the app is included by default in iOS. By making it the default, Apple seems to at least be saying that Safari is a safer Web browser. It might not be anti-competitive, but it’s funny to see Apple making it harder for the younger crowd to use anything but Safari when browsing the Internet. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal, however, since most iOS users are over the age of 17.
Just for kicks, let’s take a look at the same browsers on Google Play. Chrome is listed as a low maturity app. The Opera Mini Web Browser is surprisingly rated as an app for everyone. Firefox is rated as low maturity, and Dolphin is also rated as low maturity.
So, what’s happening here? Apple is either being anti-competitive or being over protective. I would like to think it’s the latter. The Internet can be a dangerous place for young people, and Apple is probably just wanting to protect them from the worst the Internet has to offer. It’s odd, however, that Apple doesn’t allow parental controls in Safari. The company apparently thinks the only way to protect children from the horrors of the Internet is to restrict access to the Safari app altogether.
Either way, we’ve reached out to Apple for comment. We’ll update if we hear back.