Parental Control App Developers Demand Screen Time API from Apple

iOS 12 Screen Time Pick Ups

Apple and a number of developers behind popular parental control apps are currently engaged in a war of words. Many developers have accused Apple of forcing them to remove certain features from their apps after it debuted Screen Time in iOS 12 last year. Now, a group of such developers has teamed up and created a website asking Apple to provide them with a Screen Time API.

The problem is that most parental control apps used the MDM feature to offer Screen Time-like functionality. Apple started cracking down on such apps which left a lot of developers angry as they believe Apple is now coming after them since it has released a similar feature in iOS 12.

The website says that protecting their children online and teaching them good technology habits is among the biggest challenges for modern parents and that’s why developers need access to an open screen time API. While Apple does offer Screen Time in iOS 12, it is not as expansive in its coverage and controls like some of the third-party apps.

Screen Time API

The initiative is being led by a number of popular developers including OurPact, Qustodio, ScreenTime, Mobicip, Activate, FamilyOrbit, and more.

Our Take

Apple has increasingly come under criticism from developers on how it handles the App Store and makes decisions to benefit its own products and services. Spotify has already launched a Time to Play fair campaign against Apple and now parental control developers have also teamed up against the company.

Apple definitely does not have anything to lose if it ends up offering a native Screen Time API to developers. After all, powerful third-party apps would ultimately help parents in keeping their children safe online which is what the end motive should be.

Here’s hoping that Apple gets around to adding a Screen Time API for developers in iOS 13. If not, well then the lawsuit against Apple for App Store monopolistic behavior is going ahead and this situation would make a prime example of how the company is using its position to kill the competition.