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Screen Time API for Third-Party App Developers to Create Apps

Because Apple is Healthy

In the constant race of modernisation of technologies, the desire to learn continuously wins definitely. And Apple takes it very seriously as it has always been headstrong in protecting its users’ privacy while giving them the top brand for electronic devices.

Today, when cybertheft and cybersecurity are crucial to be worked on, Apple has yet again proved itself to be Android’s superior, taking its closed platform as an advantage. 

But what did Apple do now to make all eyes sparkle on it?

Apple surprised iOS app developers with ‘Screen Time API.’

What is Screen Time API?

Screen Time API is something Apple announced on WWDC21 to allow developer access to frameworks to create apps by a parental control experience and perpetuate user privacy.

Every iPhone user is using screen-time, and that was a default feature by Apple. Considering the use of smartphones has increased in every corner of the world. Apple envies developers by this feature to create apps with controlling parental experience. 

For example- If you open a third-party app on your phone and get a notification saying, “ You have been using X for 2 hours. Might want to take a break?”, This new feature means that the iOS developers will have access to your screen time but yes not your app activities. You can control the screen time of gaming apps for your children to have a healthy use of technology.

How is this a big relief for iOS app developers?

App Developers have always projected towards both Android and iOS App development for better user accessibility, undiscriminating the operating system of the device. But the recent scrutiny of Apple has made it difficult for the third-party applications to integrate a screen time API for apps that need it, like parent control apps, etc.

Many apps faced problems or were removed from the App store for this reason:

  1. A famous app like SPACE was removed from Apple’s App store because it required access to various activities done by the user on their phone through screen time tracking. Although the app is a phone/real-life balancing app, that helps the users maintain a balanced life and get off their phones for a bit longer and enjoy the real world around them.

However, the app creators agreed on a few terms and conditions with Apple and SPACE renounced on the App Store.

  1. Just like SPACE, a startup App called ‘Mute’ also faced the same challenge due to its screen time tracking mechanism. The app intended for the well-being of the human race by limiting the usage of electronic devices around them and connecting more to the real world around them. But Apple couldn’t bend their security policy for the best reasons.
  1. Apple did seem to have a problem with screen time apps that took advantage of mobile device management (MDM) and/or VPNs to operate.

It also gives an advantage to the developers to develop other applications that require Screen Time API while not breaking Apple’s rules. Plus the extra advantage would result in extra cash by the parents to develop customized applications to scrutinize their children’s activities on phones/tablets, etc.

It is indeed one of the best news for app developers like us, isn’t it?

What differences does the screen time API make while developing iOS apps?

According to the above-mentioned points, many iOS apps that used screen time API either got off or were questioned by Apple. But now, with Apple’s own Screen Time API, iOS App developers can easily create the following apps.

  1. They can easily create Parental Control Apps that requires the Screen Time API to know the activities of the children on their devices. They can lock, log out, change the contents on their children’s devices with utmost user information safety.
  2. Games can use this feature to send over-time gaming warnings to show that the gaming industry encourages big breaks between games to keep their users’ bodies and mind healthy.
  3. Streaming Platforms can also use this feature to warn their users about over-time watching of series.

So, the difference that Apple’s Screen Time API would make is, that it will be hassle-free for the iOS App developers to integrate this feature into their apps to make it even better, without having the fear of getting dragged out of Apple’s App Store.

Advantages Of Apple’s Screen Time API for Parents

One of the biggest advantages of Apple’s new Screen Time API would be in favour of the parents. They can easily scrutinize their children’s activities on their smartphones in a safe way without violating user’s privacy. Parents can guide their children properly in this chaotic world of good and bad technology by using customized Screen Time API apps.

  1. They can navigate through their children’s watch history, browsing history, etc, and make sure that they don’t land on any unwanted scenes or Ads on streaming platforms.
  1. They can log their children out of any place if they find it inappropriate.
  1. They can keep track of their children’s daily activities on their phones, tablets, etc.
  1. Parents can even keep a watch on their children’s online classes and routines.

What should you consider while making an app for Apple in 2021?

Security! Yes, your prime focus should be on security because Apple certainly won’t compromise its users’ security. And the scrutiny is going to increase instead of otherwise. So, if you an app developer, just like us, you should get rid of the APIs that might seem malicious to the iOS. 

Due to the increasing cyber crimes, many apps that use MDM or VPN to access the Screen Time APIs are being targeted by Apple.

So, iOS 15 is coming with many interesting features and the blockbuster for app developers, the Screen Time API of its own, which means it’s a win-win for both ends.

Here are the iOS Apps built by us

In case you are new to this field of app development, an entrepreneur trying to find a good developer for your new online app or a parent who is celebrating after this news and trying to customize an app for scrutinizing, we have a list of previously developed and delivered iOS Apps to assure you that you are at the right place for the aforementioned conditions.

  1. Highlight Cover: StoryLightStoryLight is an app where you can create a free highlight cover for your Instagram. 
  1. Dynamite Video Editor One of the best video editing apps in the app store with a number of modern tools and effects.
  2. Puzzle Template for Instagram Just as the name suggests, this app provides you with awesome grids & templates for your Instagram feed.
  1. Ad.Blocker– Eliminate the ads from your phone while surfing online, enjoy the content you are looking for without those annoying pop-ups that interrupt your time on the Internet using Ad.Blocker.

We do not believe that if you have an app idea just hire the best app development company and you are done. It is a continuous process. Our iOS developer’s team within a release of this news, research this feature and share some data to our website visitors through this blog as a quick view of screen time API. We are having a meeting with all iOS developers in our company to discuss the WWDC21 release to make better apps and provide a great user experience to our customer’s users.