Parental control app developers band together to demand an API from Apple

A large group of developers who make parental control applications have come together to demand that Apple find a technical solution that allows them to continue working on the iPhone. They have gone so far to create a website and propose a specification for an API that would give their applications enough access to track and limit the use of applications.

The move is necessary because Apple started blocking many of these applications recently because they took advantage of mobile device management (MDM) functions on the iPhone. Apple has established a policy that these features should only be used by companies.

There were two ways of interpreting that movement. The first is that it was part of a broader review of the use of MDM after what Apple saw as Facebook's abuse of the feature earlier this year. The second way, as these application makers argue, is that it is simply an anti-competitive way to protect Apple's Screen Time and parental control functions. "When Apple launched its own screen time management tool, it also began to eliminate established store brands or block updates to its applications," they write on its website.

As Jack Nicas in New York Times notes, this movement occurred partly because the breath of a former Apple executive, Tony Fadell. In a thread from from Twitter earlier this year Fadell argued that Apple should create a full-featured API so that companies can create parental tracking applications with all the functions that could work on different platforms. software.

] Times has also seen a message from Fadell to developers that says "I'll send it to the world, I'll just make sure to do it BEFORE WWDC". Time is important You can pressure Apple to respond at an event that is usually a celebration of your software prowess, or at least ensure that concerns about anti-competitive practices at Apple are on the minds of people during the event.

be on everyone's mind anyway Just yesterday Apple published a page defending its App Store practices. The company was responding to an antitrust lawsuit with enormous implications and a formal investigation by the EU, which are currently underway.


parental control app developers band together to demand an api from apple

Companies requesting an API

Concerns about Apple withdrawing third-party Parental Control applications were so great that Apple felt compelled to respond with a long letter defending its decision. The company argued that it withdrew the applications because allowing them to use MDM outside a corporate context was dangerous:

Apple has always supported third-party applications in the App Store that help parents manage their children's devices. Contrary to what The New York Times reported during the weekend, this is not a matter of competition. It's a security issue.

In this category of applications, and in all categories, we are committed to providing a competitive and innovative application ecosystem.

When requesting an API, the group of developers is asking Apple to install real technical work to support its commitment to an "ecosystem of innovative and competitive applications". The developers request "at least one of the following":

1. Access to application usage data

2. Possibility of blocking access to the application

3. Ability to filter web traffic

It is probably a difficult question. Another thing is that proposing a specification for an API, in reality convincing Apple that it is the right methodology and protecting the user's privacy is another very different: to say nothing of convincing Apple to make an engineering effort to create it.

Send a comment to Apple and we will let you know if we receive a response.

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