Why You Can’t Find Parental Control Apps in the iOS App Store

Illustration for article titled Why You Can't Find Parental Control Apps in the iOS App Store

iOS: If you’re having trouble finding a good parental control app in the iOS App Store, there’s a reason for that: MDM, or Mobile Device management. According to Apple, apps using MDM “incorrectly” pose serious security risk, and so the company is cracking down—but what does this actually mean?

What is Mobile Device Management?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a general term for any technology that allows one device to be controlled and/or monitored by another remotely. Parental control apps on iOS often rely on MDM as a means for controlling screen time, applying content filters, and collecting usage reports, because it’s the only way to obtain device permissions for these kinds of activities. Otherwise, your everyday app on the App Store can’t control your device to this great a degree.

This isn’t some newly implemented technology. MDM has been present on iPhone for years now, with Apple overseeing MDM certification for its devices and even controlling all MDM-based actions on iOS apps.

So why is Apple now so worried about apps using this feature in a way it wasn’t intended? The company now claims that apps with MDM can leave your personal data vulnerable and open to exploitation by hackers, hence the purging of parental control apps from the App Store.

On paper, the move makes sense. If an unwilling person is tricked into installing a certificate from a less-than-stellar app, they’ve just given over the keys to their digital kingdom—a privacy breach Apple would very much like to prevent.

“MDM does have legitimate uses. Businesses will sometimes install MDM on enterprise devices to keep better control over proprietary data and hardware. But it is incredibly risky—and a clear violation of App Store policies—for a private, consumer-focused app business to install MDM control over a customer’s device. Beyond the control that the app itself can exert over the user’s device, research has shown that MDM profiles could be used by hackers to gain access for malicious purposes,” reads a statement Apple published last last month.

Developers (try to) fight back

Several developers with parental control apps now affected by the new MDM policy have responded to Apple’s claims, and their arguments highlight some inconsistencies with Apple’s reasoning.

One app, OurPact, uses MDM to allow parents to set screen time limits on their child’s devices. OurPact’s developers released a statement using Apple’s own MDM documentation to refute the alleged security risks. You can read the full statement here, but the gist of the argument is that since Apple controls the entire MDM review process for iOS apps, properly vetted apps should not pose any of the risks Apple is warning against. As well, OurPact has been open about what it does and how it does it:

“OurPact’s core functionality would not be possible without the use of MDM; it is the only API available for the Apple platform that enables the remote management of applications and functions on children’s devices. We have also been transparent about our use of this technology since the outset, and have documented its use in our submissions to the App Store,” the company’s statement reads.

Photo: OurPact

Some have suggested Apple’s actual reason for removing these MDM-enabled parental control apps is to curb potential competition with iOS 12’s screen time feature. However, other reports point out that many of the apps were purged for various other violations unrelated to MDM, like the prohibition on creating “an App that appears confusing similar to an existing Apple Product, interface, app, or advertising theme.”

If you ask us, the whole this is a net loss for Apple’s customers, even though it is the security-minded approach to take.

What Apple’s purge means for you

Policy disputes between Apple and app developers are one thing, but the biggest concern for iOS users—especially for parents—is that parental controls/screen time apps are being removed from App Store.

This would be less of an issue if Apple provided developers with its own API for controlling screen time, but it does not. More importantly, many of the removed apps like OurPact, Kidslox, and Qustodio included features that iOS parental controls do not—such as filtering web content on non-Safari browsers and cross-compatibility with Android. Their absence leaves parents with fewer options for monitoring their child’s screen time (though there’s debate over just how effective screen time limits can be).

Hopefully, the outcry from developers and the feedback from users will force Apple to at least open up a discussion about the future of parental control on the App Store. For now, however, you might as well settle for using the parental control features built into iOS 12. They’re not as robust when compared to the rival apps, but it’s probably your safest bet for locking down your kids’ activities right now. It might soon be your only one.

[“source=lifehacker”]

Delhi govt to launch campaign to control rising number of cases of dengue, malaria

New Delhi: In the backdrop of rising number of cases of malaria, chikungunya and dengue, the Delhi government has decided to launch a major campaign to raise awareness among people about methods of prevention.

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday, however, said the proportion of cases being reported in Delhi are “far less” as compared to some of the other states, like Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

At least 30 fresh cases of dengue were reported last week, taking the number of people affected by the vector-borne disease in the city this year to 180, according to the latest municipal report.

The total number of malaria cases recorded till 22 July has shot up to 230 while the chikungunya cases stand at 195, it said.

“In a week’s time we are going to start a big campaign to raise awareness about prevention of vector-borne diseases. We are already working in collaboration with MCD to put up hoardings on the theme, and we will also involve the masses in our campaign,” he told reporters.

Jain, quoting figures of the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) said, till 16 July, at least 23,094 cases and 32 deaths due to dengue have been reported across the country, while Delhi has only 180 cases.

Also, two deaths due to swine flu have been reported in Delhi, but fatalities due to this disease recorded in Gujarat and Maharashtra are quite high, he said.

“We are prepared and have adequate stock of medicines and we will make more arrangements as per the situation,” he said.

Authorities in Delhi fear the cases in the city may rise as the season for the vector-borne diseases begins from mid-July and generally lasts till November-end.

Cases of all three vector-borne diseases have been reported much earlier this time, which doctors have attributed to early arrival of the monsoon.

Of the 230 malaria cases, 116 affected people were residents of Delhi while rest of the cases diagnosed were traced to other states. At least 57 cases have been recorded this month.

Of the 195 chikungunya cases, 127 of the affected people were residents of Delhi while the rest were from other states.

[“Source-firstpost”]

Control Your Email Inbox: Stop Email Notifications From Twitter, Facebook

control emailSocial media is one of the greatest inventions of the modern world. It allows us to connect with people we lost touch with, keep up with the daily lives of people we care about but don’t see often in real life, and share content that can be truly rewarding. Not to mention the ability to find others from around the globe to chat with. Whereas before, it was a difficult prospect.

Yes, social networking in particular has managed to open up our lives to the wider world in a way we never would have thought possible before the creation of the miracle known as the Internet. But it has also created a whole list of minor irritations and distractions that can build up and make life a little more stressful.

For me, the most irritating of these minor annoyances is social media notifications. Emails flooding my inbox about every little comment or activity on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is a hassle. With more social networks becoming a part of life, they can now also come from Pinterest, YouTube, StumbleUpon and a dozen other sites you just don’t need to be constantly updated on.

Here’s how I handle the email craziness:

  • Use social media inboxes to get notified of social media interactions in a user-friendly, non-intrusive way (here are two tools to get productive).
  • Stop certain types of social media updates to my main inbox. All I am usually interested in learning quickly is a DM or a private message. All other types of social media updates have to go. Otherwise, I’ll have no time for work.

However, it took me ages to realize that I could stop this. All it takes is a few alterations to your settings and you are free. Or just get one of the programs made to make it even easier.

Using Settings

All social media sites have an area of your settings, sometimes in your account settings, that lets you specify what you would like to be notified of.

Facebook

In Facebook, just simply go to Account Settings through the little gear in the top right hand corner of any Facebook page. On the left hand side will be a bar with options. Select Notifications > Email. You can choose to get all notifications except those specifically unsubscribed from, important notifications about you or activity or only notifications about problems with your account, security or privacy.

You can also select what text message notifications you get (if you are subscribed to mobile use). This includes comments on your profile, friend requests/confirmations and everything else. You may also set the times you get notifications if you don’t want them at certain hours of the night or morning.

Twitter

Twitter isn’t quite so customizable, but you can still specify what you want. Just go to your account, hit the gear button on the top header, then select Settings > Email Notifications. You can choose when you get an email and who it applies to on your list. You can also choose to get an email digest weekly, daily, etc.

Using Gmail Filter

Whether you want to avoid or better organize older social media updates that get archived in your inbox (to stop them from interfering with your inbox search) or to stop the clutter from the future ones, this Gmail search command will come in handy:

  • Search: [from:noreply* OR from:do-not-reply* OR from:donotreply* OR from:notification*] This filters out most automated updates.

You can now set up a filter to send these emails to a separate folder, bypassing your inbox. Now just create a calendar reminder to check that folder once a day or a couple of times a week, depending on your workload.

control email

Using Tools

Notify Me Not

control email

If you want more thorough directions for changing your settings, or you want them for a different site than those above, you might want to check out Notify Me Not. They cover all the social networks, including those that are only social in a secondary way like Amazon.

Easy to follow, helpful and with a complete guide on the subject, it is the number one authority on banishing annoying emails to Hell, where they belong.

Unroll Me

control email

Not only does this program allow you to get rid of unwanted emails, but it also rolls everything into a very simple, highly organized inbox for you. That means all of your emails are better formatted for easy sifting, reading and storage. Plus, it works for both Yahoo and Gmail, which means it isn’t compatible with other clients. But come on, who uses them anymore?

Know of any good programs or tips for stopping annoying social network notifications?

Image source: sps

More in: Facebook

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

LG’s VPInput App Lets Users Control Their G4, G5, V10 Smartphones From PCs

LG's VPInput App Lets Users Control Their G4, G5, V10 Smartphones From PCs

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The app is compatible with only the LG G4, G5, V10
  • It will allow remote access to the smartphone from the PC
  • It requires a Bluetooth-integrated PC to work

LG has launched a new app called VPInput to enable users get remote access to their smartphones via PCs and laptops as well. The app is only compatible with the LG G4,LG G5, and LG V10.

In order to make this work, the users need to also download the LG VPInput PC Program (Windows or Mac) on their desktops alongside the app on any of the three smartphone. It also requires Bluetooth connectivity, and for those desktops that do not support Bluetooth – the program wouldn’t work. LG confirms that this program does not support the Bluetooth dongle, hence this functionality is only applicable for Bluetooth integrated laptops and PCs.

Once the entire thing is set up, users will be able to browse through their LG G4, G5. and V10 smartphones from their PCs/laptops without having to pick up their smartphone devices every time. The user will essentially be able to control the smartphone using the PC keyboard and mouse.

“The VPInput app gives LG smartphone users control of their devices using their PC’s mouse and keyboard, a convenient solution when you’re at your desk but want to check your phone without interrupting your workflow,” said the company.

The program also allows inputting text, and use functions (Ctrl+V, Ctrl+C) from the keyboard on LG compatible smartphones. This program will be useful especially at work, where all smartphone and PC files could be accessed simultaneously on one screen. Furthermore, users can just continue to communicate on IM apps, and other chat services from one device. Screenshots taken on the PC can be sent to contacts through the smartphone as well. The app is available for free download on Google Play.

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Tags: Android, Apps, Google Play, LG, LG G4, LG G5, LG V10, Mobiles, VPInput app
[“Source-Gadgets”]