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Apple is removing screen time apps from the App Store, here’s why

It’s all about protecting customer privacy.

Do you limit your screen time? We all know that we should be spending less times staring at a screen and more time doing other things. Of course, there’s a very straightforward solution to this problem – use an app to help you curb the habit.

There’s no shortage of options available to users. Both Apple and third-party developers have given us a wealth of apps that allow us to use our phones less often. Needless to say, the features that are available on these apps vary dramatically. Some include only a timer and reminder system, while others offer a more detailed breakdown of how often you use your smartphone and what you’re using it for.

Screen Time on iPhone

Plus, parents have found these apps extra useful when it comes to limiting how much time their kids spend on devices. Many of the ‘family friendly’ apps also allow parents to determine what apps and features their children are exposed to when they’re playing on either tablets or smartphones.

Apple Removes Third-Party Apps

In the last year, Apple has blocked or restricted 11 of the 17 most popular screen time apps from the App Store, according to a report from the New York Times. The requested changes include asking the developers to get rid of specific features of the apps. For example, restrictions have been put in place for apps that allow parents to block content for their children or to remotely control the devices.

What’s more, Apple has completely removed some of the screen time apps on its store. While users can download apps to their iPhone without using the official App Store, doing so is not recommended. The apps on Apple’s system have been vetted and are safe to use on devices, while there is no such system in place for third-party apps online.

Why is Apple Removing Screen Time Apps?

While – at first glance – it may appear that Apple is simply eliminating the competition, the company has a very good reason for taking these precautions. A spokesperson for the tech giant told the press that the restricted or removed apps could gather way too much information from users’ phones. The company believes that this sharing of information could be a breach of both privacy and security settings.

Despite removing some of these apps, Apple are dedicated to the ongoing fight against too much screen time. In recent years, there has been a lot of pressure put on tech companies to take some accountability for the addictive nature of modern-day technology. “We don’t want people using their phones all the time,” said Tim Cook at the Time 100 conference recently. “This has never been an objective for us.”

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