Apple has performed a u-turn if it’s original decision to ban the parental control app OurPact from the AppStore.
OurPact was just one of several apps removed from the AppStore after Apple made a sudden change in policy that reclassified these apps as unsafe, due to the technology they relied on for managing kids’ devices. These apps used an MDM (multi-device management) tool to install the app and gave more control to the owners of the MDM tool and Apple saw this as a great risk.
The story of the removal broke just before Apple’s annual WWDC developer gathering, following a story in The New York Times and drew criticism on Apple who run their own parental control features built in called screen time calling the move monopolistic.
What is MDM
MDM was designed for management of hardware in IT and school environments, this tool allows schools and business to control the device on a more granular level and can stop the installation or removal of apps, monitor usage and even track and lock the device. These tools are often used by schools to ensure students do not install unsafe content.
Restoring the app
Interestingly Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines during WWDC to allow for parental control apps using MDM (and VPN tools), and now Apple has restored the app to return to the AppStore in its original form after months of ongoing disputes and the app has no limitations or restrictions.