In some interesting news coming out of Apple this week, we have learned Apple is quickly removing some of the most popular screen time monitoring apps on the App Store. This has been happening at a quicker pace since the release of iOS 12. If you haven’t upgraded to iOS 12 yet, then you might not know that Apple released a monitoring tool called Screen Time.
This is a feature that is found within the latest operating system release. Screen Time is the Apple version of a screen time monitoring tool and it also has parental controls. Read on to learn about what is going on regarding Apple and the removal of some of the biggest names in screen time monitoring for iOS.
Apple Removes Screen Time Monitoring Tools from App Store Due to iOS 12 Screen Time Feature
If you have upgraded to iOS 12, then you know that Apple has a screen time monitoring tool simply called Screen Time. Due to the release of iOS 12 and the feature being released, Apple has decided to remove all other competition from the App Store. In fact, ever since the release of iOS 12, 11 of the more popular screen time monitoring apps have been removed from the App Store. There are about 17 total popular screen time monitoring apps and parental control apps found on Apple’s App Store.
11 of those have already been removed and they are being removed at a quicker pace ever since the release of iOS 12 and the Screen Time feature. Some of the removals of these monitoring apps happened right after Screen Time became a part of iOS 12. Even though some the apps were removed right after, it appears Apple is ramping up removal of these apps in the recent months. Even worse is that these apps are being removed from Apple’s App Store with no warning from Apple to the app developers.
Apple Removes Competition for Screen Time Feature at Higher Pace
A lot of app developers are saying that Apple removed their screen time monitoring apps without even notifying them about it. What is really bad about this news is that a lot of these other apps had more features than the Apple version does. A few of these apps even allowed for you to monitor the phones of your children if they were on Android and you were on iOS. This particular feature is not one you will find on iOS. Apple does not allow you to monitor someone on a device than isn’t an Apple device.
Another feature that most of these other third-party apps had was the ability to block content that was inappropriate on other browsers beyond Safari. The feature that is found in iOS 12 doesn’t have this ability either. If you are using the iOS Screen Time feature, you are only able to block content that is inappropriate on Safari. We wish that Apple would have added both of these additional features into the iOS 12 version.
Apple Removing Apps Similar to Screen Time is Part of Terms of Conditions
While a lot of app developers can get mad at Apple for removing their screen time monitoring apps and parental control apps, Apple has every right to do this. The right comes from the terms of conditions which are what all app developers must agree to before getting their apps published on Apple’s App Store.
You are not allowed to create an app and have it on Apple’s App Store if it competes with an Apple app, advertising theme, interface, or Apple product. Even though these other monitoring apps came first, it still stands that they were competing with an Apple feature and app. Another guideline that was being violated was the one in which prohibits the use of the public APIs in a manner that is or was unapproved.
Apple also was hitting some of the app developers with a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and also a violation of the Apple Store terms. Even though some apps according to Apple were violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, parents are able to give consent and override that.
Since some of the apps were monitoring the time of children in various apps, it’s obvious this was setup by the parents for a reason. If the parents were installing that app onto the phone, then they were giving consent and there is no violation. Either way, it looks like Apple is clamping down on any and all apps that are competing with iOS 12, including these very useful and feature-heavy screen time monitoring tools and parental control apps.