Apple is taking action against apps that fight phone addiction

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Whether or not you agree that smartphone addiction is a real condition, there’s no denying that some people spend many hours a day staring at their phones. In efforts to reduce their own usage, some have turned to screen-time tracking apps that notify users when they have clocked up more hours than they would like to.

With iOS 12, Apple included their own screen-tracking functionality. But since then, they have also been quietly taking action against third-party app makers, effectively forcing the competition out of business. The New York Times reported yesterday that in the last year, “Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps” from the App Store.

Speaking to the Times, Apple spokeswoman Tammy Levine said, “we treat all apps the same, including those that compete with our own services.” But that seems somewhat suspicious, given the timing of their action against screen-time trackers.

Given Apple’s curatorial role as owner of the App Store, they will have verified and approved dozens, if not hundreds, of versions of each offending app before deciding this year that such apps breached their terms and conditions.

One such app was Freedom, a screen-tracking app with almost a million downloads. Freedom’s exec, Fred Stutzman, said Apple’s “incentives aren’t really aligned for helping people solve their problem. Can you really trust that Apple wants people to spend less time on their phones?”

The Times reports that at least two of the affected app makers, Kidslox and Qustodio, have filed a complaint with the European Union’s competition office. Don’t be too surprised if others follow suit.

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petert

TS Evangelist
Let's take a moment and remember that poor Chinese chap which sold one of his kidney some time ago in order to buy an ipad 2 and an iphone.

Just surfaced some months ago that he lost the other kidney due to complications and it is now bedriden at the age of 25. Good job apple, going after an uneducated lad in a third world country - I bet that in their internal meetings they were estatic that they managed to actually convince a customer to sell his kidney in order to pay for apple products. An achievement which other players on the market are still trying to match to this day, most notably google with its pixel line ...
 

ghostf1re

TS Guru
Let's take a moment and remember that poor Chinese chap which sold one of his kidney some time ago in order to buy an ipad 2 and an iphone.

Just surfaced some months ago that he lost the other kidney due to complications and it is now bedriden at the age of 25. Good job apple, going after an uneducated lad in a third world country - I bet that in their internal meetings they were estatic that they managed to actually convince a customer to sell his kidney in order to pay for apple products. An achievement which other players on the market are still trying to match to this day, most notably google with its pixel line ...
I think it's a ridiculous notion to think Apple would rejoice because some ***** decided to sell a body part to afford two of their devices. It's even more ridiculous to feel bad for this guy. He made the *****ic decision to do this. This is a mental health issue, not an Apple issue.

Edit: Censorship is way too extreme in comments. I said "*****ic" minus the "I" and "c" and it was censored....

Edit: Censored again lol.
 

XtremeHammond

TS Addict
They don't have the money to fight Apple. Not to mention they are getting zero revenue while the court battle is taking place as Apple has already removed the apps.

If you are a dev and your only source of income is the apple store, you are completely at their mercy.
Yeah, but I meant Apple. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I mean I understand Apple but I don’t like it as they are forcing consumerism in our society.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
They don't have the money to fight Apple. Not to mention they are getting zero revenue while the court battle is taking place as Apple has already removed the apps.

If you are a dev and your only source of income is the apple store, you are completely at their mercy.
Yeah, but I meant Apple. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I mean I understand Apple but I don’t like it as they are forcing consumerism in our society.
Consumerism is at an all time high and every big corp wants it that way. They don't care about the society or anything else besides money. They are all scum of the highest order.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Consumerism is at an all time high and every big corp wants it that way. They don't care about the society or anything else besides money. They are all scum of the highest order.
I firmly hold to the conviction that all the CEOs, founders, and board members of these huge manufacturing and product sales conglomerates, are all sociopaths. For instance, I consider Jeff Bezos as a modern version of Alexander the Great. However, as it's no longer acceptable to raise an army and set out conquer the physical world, the battles are over the currency of all realms are today's stakes of war. . Bloodless though today's retail battles may be, they are no less ruthless and vicious. "Casualties" are now measured in bankruptcies caused. And really, who needs "the hearts and minds of your subjects", when you can take all their money and spend it on yourself instead?

Dictators and kings can suffer violent revolutions against them. But when Apple tells their "subjects to kneel before us and prepare to receive our bounty", (usually as a suppository), the iSheep love them for it. A chorus of the mentally challenged and overly socially conscious goes out throughout the land, "thank you good sirs, may we have another"?

Those conquests out of the way, the "leaders of commerce and industry" can go back to snorting coke by the pound, while emailing pictures if their junk to their mistresses,
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Consumerism is at an all time high and every big corp wants it that way. They don't care about the society or anything else besides money. They are all scum of the highest order.
I firmly hold to the conviction that all the CEOs, founders, and board members of these huge manufacturing and product sales conglomerates, are all sociopaths. For instance, I consider Jeff Bezos as a modern version of Alexander the Great. However, as it's no longer acceptable to raise an army and set out conquer the physical world, the battles are over the currency of all realms are today's stakes of war. . Bloodless though today's retail battles may be, they are no less ruthless and vicious. "Casualties" are now measured in bankruptcies caused. And really, who needs "the hearts and minds of your subjects", when you can take all their money and spend it on yourself instead?

Dictators and kings can suffer violent revolutions against them. But when Apple tells their "subjects to kneel before us and prepare to receive our bounty", (usually as a suppository), the iSheep love them for it. A chorus of the mentally challenged and overly socially conscious goes out throughout the land, "thank you good sirs, may we have another"?

Those conquests out of the way, the "leaders of commerce and industry" can go back to snorting coke by the pound, while emailing pictures if their junk to their mistresses,
(y) (Y) This is what I call seeing with clear vision.
 
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Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
Having an "app" to fight phone addiction is like using heroin to get over your addition to Cocaine.

It just doesn't make any damn sense.
This^^

I've always though Apple's "Screen Time," as it is officially called, was kind of silly. "Here. Lower you screen time but looking at the screen some more." :p
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Having an "app" to fight phone addiction is like using heroin to get over your addition to Cocaine.

It just doesn't make any damn sense.
As I see it, it has to start somewhere. The first step is recognizing a problem, and if using an app like this gets them on the track to overcoming their addictions, then more power to them, IMO. Part of that process might be that they realize apps like this are not enough.

That said, it does not surprise me that crApple would try to kill apps like this - the hypocritical company that crApple is. Any user that is addicted to any of their devices is exactly the kind of customer they want.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
As I see it, it has to start somewhere. The first step is recognizing a problem, and if using an app like this gets them on the track to overcoming their addictions, then more power to them, IMO. Part of that process might be that they realize apps like this are not enough.
I'm surprised that so many commenting in this topic missed this exact point

That said, it does not surprise me that crApple would try to kill apps like this - the hypocritical company that crApple is. Any user that is addicted to any of their devices is exactly the kind of customer they want.
You forgot to mention that egotistical,vain, and above all, narcissistic spendthrifts , are also customer qualities Apple cherishes above all others.

Although I have to say, "wouldn't it be funny",or rather, "wouldn't it be ironic", (possibly mor0nic), if someone walked out in front of a car and was killed, because they were playing with their, "you spend too much time on the phone", app. :laughing:

I'm sorry, I tend to be insensitive from time to time. I'll rephrase; "wouldn't it be tragic if someone were hurt or killed by walking out in front of a car, while trying to limit their addiction affliction, by intently staring at their, "are you on that damned phone again", app. .

OTOH, iPhone users unite!. Don't let some silly app try to push you around by telling you to spend less time on the phone. It's your sovereign and inalienable right to spend as much time on your iPhone as you damned well please, no matter who or what occasion you annoy with.it. Got a call coming in from Tinder for a date and you're at a funeral, take it. Somebody's got to do the dirty job of repopulating the dearly departed's place in the Apple new phone release queue. In fact, you take a really annoying crying baby with you, maybe some people will leave and that'll bump you up a few places.

Speaking of babies, I'm wondering why Fisher-Price hasn't released a "Baby's First iPhone", yet (ages 6 mos to 5 yrs).

Wait I know, Apple wants too much for the rights to use their name. :rolleyes:
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
I'm surprised that so many commenting in this topic missed this exact point
Ah well. When you've been down a road already, the view is different from the view of those that have never been down that road. ;)

Speaking of babies, I'm wondering why Fisher-Price hasn't released a "Baby's First iPhone", yet (ages 6 mos to 5 yrs).
That slot is already occupied by those giving the real product to their kids and having it locked for the next 25 or so years. :laughing: