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Parental control app developers demand API from Apple


IANS San Francisco
A large group of developers who make apps that require parental control are collectively demanding that Apple come up with a technical solution to let them continue working on the iPhone.
The move came after the iPhone-maker recently began blocking many of these apps, alleging they took advantage of the Mobile Device Management (MDM) features on the iPhone, The Verge reported on Thursday.
However, the developers say that Apple altered its policies after it introduced its own screen time management tool.
Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.
"Until September 2018, iOS users could only get screen time management tools from third-party apps. The most popular and effective of these apps were active for many years and relied on MDM technology to deliver the features parents wanted," the developers wrote on a website they made called "Screen Time API".
"When Apple released its own screen time management tool, it also started removing established brands from the store or blocking updates to their apps."
MDM features enable the admin to enforce access control as well as application policies. Ethically, according to Apple policies, those features are only supposed to be used by companies and businesses, not app developers.
"Time to put the kids first. Protecting children online and teaching them good technology use habits are some of the biggest challenges facing modern parents. That's why developers need a cross platform, open screen time API," the developers wrote on their website.
According to The New York Times, this move from the developers was spurred in part by encouragement from a former Apple executive, Tony Fadell.
In a Twitter thread earlier this year, Fadell argued that Apple should create a full-featured API so companies could create full-featured parental track apps that could potentially work across different software platforms.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: May 31 2019 | 2:16 PM IST

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