Apple has greatly expanded the number of countries mentioned under the Parental Preferences pane in iTunes 10.6. The newly added countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and South Korea. However, the “Parental Preferences” list isn’t restricted to these.
The new settings allow users to limit the viewing of content based on age restrictions and localized parental controls, including TV shows, movies, apps, explicit music and podcasts. The change is noteworthy, since the iTunes Store hasn’t yet arrived in the countries indicated above. iTunes content is only available on the iOS App Store in many countries across the globe, as well as iTunes U and podcasts.
The expansion of parental controls designed specifically for those regions may signal that Apple will soon launch its iTunes Store in major countries such as Indonesia, continuing to expand its digital storefront. iTunes movie and music stores launched in 16 Latin American countries last December, while 12 European countries gained access to the service in September.
Apple may have also added new iTunes 10.6 parental controls simply to restrict mature App Store content as well as explicit podcasts. However, the fact that the company has added movie age ratings tailored specifically to each country while leaving TV show ratings grayed out suggests Apple could be gearing up to offer content in a number of new countries.
The new parental controls are another silent addition to the updated iTunes service. Version 10.6 also reportedly enables users to opt for higher quality conversion bitrates of 192kbps and 256kbps when syncing music files to an iDevice.