Over the weekend, reports of Apple removing apps from the App Store surfaced. The affected apps all do the same thing as the company’s Screen Time feature, but reportedly do it better, and with more advanced features. Apple has since put up a statement on its website addressing the issue.
According to the statement, the apps in question all make use of an “invasive technology” called Mobile Device Management (MDM). This gives third parties control and access over a device and the sensitive information within. Apple goes on to say that MDM is fine in enterprise devices, but not with consumer ones.
Apple goes on to say that it gave developers 30 days to remove the MDM technology from their apps. Apps that complied remain on the App Store, while those that did not were booted. This includes Kidslox and Qustodio, both of which have filed complaints with the European Union’s competition commission.
For context, Apple added the Screen Time feature in an iOS 12 update. It not only allows users to check on their on phone usage frequency but also allow parents to set hard limits on phone usage. The apps removed from the App Store also provide parental control features.