Time to put 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.

Our API proposal

Apple removes screen
control apps from store

Until September 2018, iOS users could only get screen time management tools from 3rd 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.

When Apple released its own screen time management tool, it also started removing established brands from the store or blocking updates to their apps. The story was covered by the New York Times and many other media outlets:

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A public API is needed

Apple's response to the story was that the timing was a coincidence; the reason the apps were removed or blocked was due to their use of MDM. There’s an obvious solution and it’s one that developers have been calling for from the start. Apple should release a public API granting developers access to the same functionalities that Apple’s native “Screen Time” uses.

This option would be best for everyone:

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Great choice of products

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Effective, safe products

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API meets internal security standards

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Have necessary tools

The API proposal presented here outlines the functionality required to develop effective screen time management tools. It was developed by a group of leading parental control providers. It allows developers to create apps that go beyond iOS Screen Time functionality, to address parental concerns about social media use, child privacy, effective content filtering across all browsers and apps and more. This encourages developer innovation and helps Apple to back up their claim that “competition makes everything better and results in the best apps for our customers”.

Screen Time API proposal

Screen Time API is a joint effort by:

Privacy and security

The proposed screen time API would provide developers with the tools they need while also prioritising user privacy and security.

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User permissions required

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Only access necessary data

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Different permission levels

Most screen time management apps require at least one of the following:

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Access to app usage data
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Ability to block app access
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Ability to filter web traffic

The first two points are addressed by the main body of the proposed screen time API. The third point is already possible using iOS supervised mode. The proposal suggests making it possible for all developers to filter content if they ask the user for the appropriate permissions.

Full API proposal