What is “App Overseer”?
To go with the age old adage of “When I was a boy…”, growing up in Ireland in the 80’s personal computers were rare and mobile devices didn’t exist. Parents had little worry as to what their child was getting up to online and addiction to mobile gaming and social media was never a concern. Today almost everyone you see, young and old, has a personal device for communication and entertainment. Daily, hours can be spent on these devices and for parents this raises uncertainty regarding their children’s unmonitored usage.
iOS and Android provide good parental controls for installing new apps on devices however once these apps are installed there is almost no facility to control the use of the app. During school hours, while doing homework or at night a parent really had no idea when games are being played and the device used.
How “App Overseer” works:
“App Overseer” is an in-development web service that aims to target this problem. Subscribers to “App Overseer” integrate one of our client API’s (currently in development and not available for public use) into their product. Once integrated, features are made available that allow parents to register the app with their management account. Via the portal website or management app parents can control when and for how long specific apps or groups of apps can be accessed on a daily basis.
Benefits in adding “App Overseers” to their app for 3rd parties:
The app store is a crowded place. With 100’s of new apps released each day it is easy to be lost in the noise. By integrating with “App Overseer” your app will appear in the “App Overseer” app store, accessible though the management app*. Our survey results suggest that parents who value the ability to have greater control over the usage of mobile technology within their family, would install apps exclusively from this store. With far fewer apps than the iOS and Android stores, support for “App Overseer” will put your application in-front of customers.
* In order to avoid violating Apple or Google’s T&C’s this is not really an app store. It is an app listing that forwards the user to the true app store in order to complete purchases.
With application sand-boxing on various platforms it is not possible, with an exception of the OS, for an app to access the process or data of another app. This means that it is not possible to write a single monitoring app that can monitor all other running apps on the device. The process is on an app by app basis. If an app that does not support “App Overseer” is installed on the device, that app can be used at any time.
Restful APIs: (In development)
- iOS/OSX: ObjectiveC Framework
- Windows: .NET class library
- Android: Java/C++ library
Server: (In development)
The “App Overseer” server is built on Heroku, a polyglot cloud application platform that provided tremendous flexibility and scalability. Currently Heroku supports Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Java, Node.js, Clojure, Scala, Python and PHP. During the R&D phase “App Overseer” used many of these technologies.