Boomerang Parental Control back on the App Store

Boomerang Parental Control back on App Store

We are BACK!

Boomerang Parental Control is back on the App Store. Apple made changes to their App Store Review guidelines at their annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) back in June 2019 which reversed their decision to ban apps that use MDM (Mobile Device Management).

Download Boomerang Parental Control from the App Store

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Same Features as Before

  • Screen Time Schedules for iOS child devices: iPhones, iPads and iPods
  • App controls: set age limits to hide apps from your child’s iOS device(s)
  • Time Out devices with a custom duration: from your parent device (Android or iOS)
  • Extend Time when the schedule is up: from your parent device (Android or iOS)
  • Review Installed Apps on your child’s iOS device: from your parent device (Android or iOS)
  • Free Parent Mode: Control Android and iOS child devices from your iOS parent device

 

A Bit of Background

We always felt the timing of the ban on parental control apps was suspect since Apple had released their own screen time features in iOS12 in September 2018.

-Justin, Boomerang Parental Control

Apple’s concern was related to security and user data sharing with third party analytics and other services. MDM does allow a developer to control iOS devices beyond just a simple app. It is used by many organizations safely and securely.

Parental Controls were using a similar approach which in fact required less access to the devices’ data. The New York Times article published on April 27th, 2019 put a spotlight on how Apple’s decision in 2018 affected several of the most popular parental control app on the App Store. Following the article, many of the top competitors affected by Apple’s decision (including Boomerang Parental Control), collaborated to create a technical proposal named “Screen Time API”. The goal was to show the public and Apple that such controls and user data can be handled in a safe and secure way while using a combination of app permissions and MDM. The document was shared via the Screen Time API website. We were not successful in getting Apple to add this API to iOS but in June of 2019, Apple updated its App Store Review guidelines to include a dedicated section for parental control apps and the use of MDM (also called a Device Profile) for the purposes of parental controls. For those interested, section 5.5 in the App Store Review guideline. The process now requires us to ask for permission and review on an annual basis for the rights to use the Device Profile technology. We welcome this as it will make sure that apps using the MDM technology are approved by Apple and minimize any abuse (we are not aware of any).

JP

Product evangelist for Boomerang, battling the constant love/hate with tech. I do my best to keep the balance in teaching our kids good tech behaviours. Boomerang is all about applying this and more.

This entry has 6 replies

  1. Patrick says:

    Now we just need Android to smarten up

    • Google has gotten tighter on privacy and user security this year and I expect this will continue this way. Our impact was with the Call and Text permissions – at least for Android devices, you can still sideload a fully functioning version from our website that still includes our call/text safety features.

      Only required for kid devices (parents can still use our Google Play version or iOS parent mode):
      https://useboomerang.com/download/

  2. K.H says:

    So what does this mean exactly? Our son just switched to an iPhone and I have an Android. We’ve had your app for a year and it worked well when we were both Android. I was shocked to see what little access I have now that he has an iPhone. All I can do is screen time and my husband now handles the app management from his iPhone.

    • It means we are able to bring back the same features we had before. Apple has not been very helpful and allowing us more secure access to provide a more flexible service on iOS but for many what we do offer is good enough when they are a mixed device family. How is iOS Screen Time working for you?

  3. Matthew W says:

    Hi Justin,

    Can you control across operating systems now with full functionality? Can Android parents fully control iOS and vice versa? We all have Android but our daughter really wants an iPhone. If we don’t have the same granularity, we can’t do it.

    Thank you!
    Matt

    • Apple has shown any willingness to allow us to bring the same level of granularity to iOS. If you can, stick to Android 😉 iPhones are shiny objects for kids. Very popular but the controls are not as flexible. Especially if you are on Android.

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