Apple is being accused by some developers of playing spoilsport with their individual app offering while promoting its own competing app. The apps in question happen to be screen time apps that let users manage the time they spend with their iPhone.
That apart, parental control apps too have drawn the ire of Apple, which the developers and users said is most unfortunate. Parental control apps are being increasingly relied upon by parents to shield their children against potentially harmful apps or other content. According to estimates, at least 11 of the 17 most popular screen time or parental control apps have either been removed or their services severely curtailed.
Worse still, some of the apps Apple has found fault with have gone for millions of downloads. Some also have paid customers and the shutting down of the app has put the developers in a fix. Not surprisingly, several apps have taken the legal recourse to get their points cleared. Kidslox and Qustodio have already filed a complaint with the European Union’s anti-competition office.
Similarly, Kaspersky Lab too has filed an anti-trust complaint against Apple in Russia after the iPhone maker forced it to curb its parental-control features. Plus, Apple has also accused Kaspersky Lab of having ties with the Russian government, something that the latter vehemently denies. The Russia based cyber-security firm is also exploring options to file a similar complaint against Apple in Europe as well.
Apple meanwhile has defended its move citing privacy and security of its users. It said the particular apps were getting access to information that could undermine the privacy of its users. The company also said it was a well thought out decision and has been done in the larger interest of protecting user’s privacy.
Apple also said its own app has not been released at the expense of its competitors as it has always wanted a vibrant and rich app ecosystem where users have multiple quality choices to opt for. Developers however complained Apple move is aimed at promoting its own screen time app which again lacks many features that makes it less effective in its intended role.