Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The state of iOS parental mobile device management is bad

I recently reviewed Qustodio and found it unusable because the mandatory VPN is not compatible with modern encrypted connections (https).

After that I revisited MMGuardian. Things there are almost as bad. They haven’t implemented password security on their MDM profile; the vendor claims Apple doesn’t support the functions they rely on with a locked profile.

I also learned that MMGuardian’s primary app control, which is to hide all non-default apps, also deletes their folder and icon arrangements. So when they are restored they are no longer in their original locations.

MMGuardian can’t report on device usage, probably because it doesn’t have a VPN option.

Lastly, while MMGuardian can hide Safari, that’s a binary setting. It can’t schedule Safari to be active or disabled the way it can schedule other apps. 

In my 2016 review Qustodio and MMGuardian were the only candidates to meet basic requirements. As of 2018 there are no longer any useable iOS parental control applications.

So now we wait to see if Jana Partners and the California State Teachers Retirement System can push Tim Cook to add remote MDM to iCloud. I doubt they’ll succeed. Next it’s up to the EU.

Update: Apple introduced a Family page and branded it as doing something in the general direction of supporting vulnerable users. That’s not a positive sign.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Qustodio parental control software for iOS is obsolete.

I did a review of Qustodio’s parental control product for iOS on my special needs blog. It wasn’t a positive review. The product routes all traffic through their VPN — and the VPN can’t handle SSL traffic. That might have been acceptable in 2010, but it won’t work today.

I’m feeling grumpy about the time I spent finding this out — not to mention the $10/month subscription I paid for. The lost time was the bigger deal though. The reviews I’d read led me to think the base product worked, so I spent time checking out other features.

Qustodio must know about the SSL issues, but they’re continuing to sell the service. That’s not nice.