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Apple blocks popular apps that fight phone addiction

This image is a close-up of the App Store application on an iPhone.
Photo: Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images

Apple has removed or restricted features from at least 11 of the most downloaded screen-time tracking, phone-addiction fighting, and parental-control apps throughout 2019, according to a New York Times data analysis.

Why it matters: This report is an example of an increasingly common criticism of tech giants: They run the platform third parties rely on to reach consumers, but also own their own competing offerings.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Kim Hart: It won’t be lost on critics that Apple, which has come under fire for the addictive nature of its products, is reportedly making it difficult for addiction-fighting apps to survive on its platform.

More context, via Axios' Ina Fried: Apple has a history of limiting apps that handle tasks being done by Apple itself. That said, the world could benefit from multiple approaches to battling screen addiction.

The backdrop: Apple CEO Tim Cook told "Axios on HBO" that he used to pick up his iPhone too much, but has reduced his notifications: "The number of times I pick up a device are declining."

Go deeper: The growing war on tech addiction