Developers Want Apple to Create a Screen Time API

Apple removed a bunch of screen time apps from the App Store, saying that the MDM technology they used was a security risk. Now the developers want Apple to create a screen time API (via The New York Times).

Activity Report in iOS 12 Screen Time API
Activity Report in iOS 12 Screen Time

Screen Time API

Apps that use Mobile Device Management (MDM) have a lot of control over an iPhone. It gives access to location, app usage, email accounts, camera permissions, browsing history, and more. Apple said it gave developers of parental control apps that used MDM 30 days to remove it and submit an updated app.

Developers say Apple wasn’t clear with them on why their apps were purged. Additionally, although Apple has removed screen time apps that use MDM, there are at least three apps in the App Store that do use it.

A screen time API, they argue, would let them offer parental controls while still respecting user privacy. They even joined together and created a website with a proposal.

It aims to provide a generic API that can be used for a wide range of use cases, from personal health to remote parental controls to social media monitoring. It also aims to do this in a way that is respectful of the device owners privacy, by not providing more information than is nessessary and using the platforms permissions system to access data.

Further Reading:

[Parental Control Apps Removed Over Security Concerns, Apple Insists]

[How to Use Screen Time in iOS 12]

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