iOS - Reference - More Information on "Unrestricted Web Access"

As part of the app creation process in iTunes, users are asked to fill out a matrix in order for Apple to determine the proper rating (4+, 17+, etc). Options include whether the app contains profanity, mature/suggestive themes, and more. One option is "Unrestricted Web Access" which has caused some confusion among app publishers.

Apple's purpose for "Unrestricted Web Access" has to do with anticipating whether the app will allow an end user to navigate and view content that is hosted on the web. Since Apple cannot personally verify the web content the app shows, the app may bypass parental controls set in a dedicated web browser like Safari. This is why enabling "Unrestricted Web Access" will give your app a rating of "17+."

The Navigate and View Question

A number of articles appear on the internet with app publishers asking more specific questions like:

  • Does a link that opens in an external browser (like iOS Safari) constitute "Unrestricted Web Access?"
  • Does an embedded browser in an app without a URL bar constitute "Unrestricted Web Access?"

Apple has not specifically addressed these questions and leaves it to the review process to determine whether the rating is correct. Through Mag+'s own investigation, we have observed the following:

  • If your app uses the Mag+ embedded browser (which does not display a URL bar) and the link does not reference objectionable content, then you should not need to label it "Unrestricted Web Access."
  • If your app calls up an external web browser (like iOS Safari) and the link does not reference objectionable content, then you should not need to label it "Unrestricted Web Access."

Please keep in mind that the above is from Mag+'s own investigation and not an official response from Apple. Apple's review process is the deciding factor in terms of interpreting an app's content and its rating. If you are concerned about a "17+" rating your app may receive based on Apple's review, it is best to submit your app early in order to challenge or question any rejection issues.

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