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Apple App Store touts its kid-friendly game section

The "Games for Kids" section of the App Store might help allay parental concerns about the app world for kids.

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Apple promotes App Store category with kid-friendly games.. Apple/screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Correction at 11 a.m. PT: This story has been updated to reflect that this sub-section is not new. It was just newly promoted in a tweet Monday.

Apple on Monday reminded its Twitter followers of a games category in its App Store that might help parents concerned about safely navigating the world of children's apps.

"Games for Kids" features separate sections for children under 5, those 6 to 8, and those 9 to 11. The number of programs is small, with the page featuring just 38 apps for now. But the apps range from "cute puzzlers to accessible tower-defense games," designed for children with a "wide range of skill levels and interests."

The category, which several Apple bloggers presumed was new following the tweet, is actually a sub-category under a dedicated Kids section that Apple added to the App Store in 2013. The Kids section follows strict guidelines that prevent developers from gathering the names, addresses, phone numbers, photos, videos and audios of children under 13 without parental consent.

Apple ran into some legal trouble last year with kids being able to access in-app purchases without parental control. In January 2014, the company was forced to settle a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission that charged it with violating the FTC Act by not telling parents that entering a password to approve an initial in-app purchase would allow 15 minutes of additional purchases without further authorization needed. As a result, Apple had to refund at least $32.5 million to customers in the settlement.

The Kids for Games section includes a free e-book called "Family Time with Apps" designed to help parents find the right apps for their children and learn how to use them together.

Under the new games sub-category, for kids 5 and under you'll now find such apps as Lego Duplo Ice Cream, Thomas & Friends: Lift & Haul and Look and Find Elmo on Sesame Street. Kids ages 6 through 8 can choose such games as Slides & Ladders, Alice in Wordland and Little Galaxy Family. And for children 9 through 11, Apple offer games such as Lego Ninjago Rebooted, Sponge Bob Marbles & Slides and Maya the Bee: The Ant's Quest. Virtually all of the apps listed cost money, while a few also include in-app purchases.

(Via iDownloadblog)