Apple is also apparently doing a purge of apps. Boring! But, some interesting things going on under the hood. In this case Apple is purging apps that use the 'MDM' device management system to manage screen time and children's phone use. The problem is that MDM gives near-total control of the phone and can see all sorts of things like location and camera use, and Apple has always been clear it's only allowed for internal company apps and software development, not consumer apps (hence, this is exactly why it blocked Facebook's apps for 24 hours last year). So: Apple is getting steadily more aggressive on privacy and on blocking third parties from getting direct access to your device. However, the NY Times reported this as 'Apple blocking apps that manage screen time', with quotes from the affected companies, without mentioning the privacy aspects or MDM at all, and claiming that this was because these apps compete with Apple's time management feature... which is free. This makes very little sense. There IS an argument that Apple should create more APIs for this so you don't need MDM's invasive access (and it probably will). Fundamentally, I don't think arguing about whether the App Store should be curated is very interesting - we had this argument a decade ago and Apple was right (see the Google story above). But it IS interesting that what once was a geeky, inside-tech argument now gets to the mainstream press, with Elizabeth Warren using it as part of her campaign platform. Tech product arguments are now part of national politics.
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