Developers of banished iOS parental control apps demand screen time API

A group of iOS developers who had their parental control apps pulled from the App Store are demanding a screen time API.

The apps were pulled from the App Store over concerns they violate user privacy. Protecting users is fair, but the developers want a way to provide their apps safely.

Seventeen developers have banded together with a technical proposal for implementing such an API.

The developers believe Apple is preventing competition by only allowing its built-in parental control app. Apple has increasingly come under fire over practices deemed anti-competitive – Spotify, for example, recently filed a complaint to European regulators that Cupertino is using the App Store to give its Apple Music service an unfair advantage.

A former Apple executive, Tony Fadell, encouraged the parental control app makers to create the technical proposal. In communications with developers seen by The Times, Fadell said: "I will push it out to the world — just make sure it's done BEFORE WWDC."

In a tweet last month, Fadell spoke out about Apple’s actions with regards to reducing competition in the screen-time field:

fadell

In response to The Times’ article quoted by Fadell, Apple said: “This isn’t a matter of competition. It’s a matter of security.”

As of writing, 17 companies are participating in demanding an official screen time API, including OurPact, Kidslox, Qustodio, Screentime, Safe Lagoon, MMGuardian, Boomerang, Family Orbit, Netsanity, unGlue, Mobicip, Activate, parentsdanslesparages, Lilu, Family Time, Bosco, and Tittle.

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