Heads up, parents! Promote discipline and prioritize essential activities with Apple’s new Screen Time API.
After launching iOS 12 in 2018, Apple announced its own tracking tools for built-in screen time. Having its own built-in control system would lessen the risk of user privacy due to third-party apps having been implemented. Hence, Apple initiated to launch its own Screen Time API to allow developers to access Apple’s Screen Time system and start from there.
App developers have been waiting for this update for a long time since the release of Screen Time itself. However, Apple did not put it into high regard until the antitrust hearing last year tackled the issue regarding Apple’s removal of rival screen time apps. The company defended its decision by explaining that apps utilized MDM (mobile device management) technology for business purposes, not home use, and it was a privacy risk.
Screen Time API initiated
On Monday, June 7, 2021, Apple introduced this new Screen Time API during its Worldwide Developers Conference. The initiative provides developer framework access, allowing major control experience while maintaining user privacy.
The three new Swift frameworks added to the iOS SDK enable them to create apps that can monitor users. For example, a parent can manage what their children do and ensure that restrictions remain in place during screen time experiences.
Consistently, applications that utilize this Screen Time API can set restrictions such as preventing password changes, locking accounts in place, limiting access to applications, and filtering web traffic. These changes are already in the Apple Screen Time system, but developers can now access them and build their own branding this time. They can fully expand on the functionality of Apple’s API system.
Scope of the API
While developers’ apps can access the API, those who take advantage of it will be locked in place. Because it is designed mostly for families with younger children, the parents can only remove restrictions.
Moreover, the apps authenticate the parents and guarantee the device’s ownership belonging to the children. The system allows the parents to choose selected apps and websites open to their children without compromising privacy.
Furthermore, the third-party apps can establish unique time windows or types of activities, then warn the children when they are over-using the device. The device will automatically lock down its access to all websites and apps to restrict the children from opening them. It reminds the children that it is time for more essential set activities like doing homework and reading. If the children complete their tasks, apps can provide incentives.
On the other hand, Apple reminds users that it is not limited to family use. The Screen Time API can extend to different contexts like those aimed for health and well-being.
Families with younger children can utilize this update. Of course, other related purposes are welcome, too. Use the screen time API feature by buying Apple products like iPad and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and many more available in the marketplace.