Apps without built-in browser

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I’ve used Covenant Eyes app on my iOS devices after turning off Safari in Restrictions.

Some apps have a built-in browser that does not default to Safari. If any such apps are on an iOS device they nullify any benefit from the Covenant Eyes app.

Given this you end up with a relatively small number of apps on your iOS device which do not launch their own built-in browser.

Some examples of apps which don't currently have a built in-browser would be:

BBC iPlayer and Skype.

Can anyone suggest some others? It would be useful to have a constant list available. Below are my current apps (none of which have a built in-browser).

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PFWeb

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Posted 7 years ago

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AJ

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This situations and Apple's behavior here are unacceptable. There is a description here that describes the problem - and there might be an answer, too: www.change.org?

https://www.quora.com/Apple-Inc-2/How...
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Phaneron Seed

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I would readily sign such a petition. Your link to change.org does not direct to a specific petition; have you started one or are you suggesting that we do so?
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AJ

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Hi Andy, I have not yet started a petition. I wanted to find other interested parties first, before I or this group then starts a petition or goes a different route.

Initially, in August 2012, I filed this as a bug in the Apple Bug reporter. They marked it as a duplicate and took it out. So, I guess we are aware that this is not a technical, but a political decision.
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Chance

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With these built-in browsers, can you go to any site you want?
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AJ

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Hi Chance, yes, bottom line, you could go on any site you want if you know how. Here I've written a description on how to do this through the google maps app. http://productforums.google.com/forum...
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Phaneron Seed

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Unfortunately, Chance, unless you delete all apps with built-in browsers, your Covenant Eyes browser is not unlike a locked door standing in an open field. I remember the good ol' days when I first installed the CE app on my phone and, in blissful ignorance, believed that it automatically monitored all of my phone's Internet activity. Then a friend in my accountability group "gifted" me with the knowledge that the CE app only monitors Internet activity within itself. Similarly, this in-app browser problem is a recent discovery for me. Let the merciless app deletions begin...
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AJ

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I this really the only way? I pay for Covenant Eyes every month and I like it. But through this behavior of Apple, this is basically a useless tool by now. Just as a thought: If Covenent Eyes would be interested in taking this topic up, making a big fuzz around it (e.g. change.org), this would be priceless publicity and it would help everybody. Your thoughts?
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trickkelly

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I would love for something to change, but I have a hard time imagining it will. It would require a Christian view of pornography to become salient to culture and business, and I just don't see that happening anytime soon. I have a hard time imagining Apple deploying resources to make its devices porn-free, especially because so much of the appeal of the iPhone is the apps, which are essentially out of the hands of Apple.

To get proper protection/accountability on an iPhone right now means using the CE browser and deleting nearly all of your apps. CE simply doesn't have the ability/technology to provide the accountability needed on this device. If you want to be serious about blocking yourself access, You need to restrict access to both the App Store app and the iTunes app, plus any app with built-in browsers. Obviously, this severely limits the functionality (and fun) of having an iPhone. Personally, I'm still getting enough use out of my phone to warrant having it because of the ability to browse adequately through the CE browser, read email, and use the music player for listening to sermons and messages and music. However, functionally the phone is a shell of what it has the potential to be.

Although I'd love for CE to be able to address this problem, it's really an Apple-centric problem. If we wanted to get deep we could call it a cultural problem. But in reality, for anything significant to change, Apple needs to build this kind of restriction into their tech. What they have right now is simply not sufficient. I would happily sign some kind of petition to alert Apple to this issue, I'm just not sure what kind of effect it would have.
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AJ

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Hi Patrick (trickkelly).

I respect your view and I agree this is not directly connected to CE, but I would like to suggest to keep it simple and try a view where no Christian view, no special view on pornography are needed, no change of culture is required.

It's very easy:

1) Apple offers "restrictions" on it's iOS platform. These restrictions are advertised to keep your iPhone for your kids (or yourself) under control. That's why they for e.g. advertise to deactivate Safari.

2) With the technical bug mentioned above, Apple fails to deliver proper restrictions to an extent that makes the existing ones look like pure marketing without functionality.

A company like CE would profit greatly from making this as visible as possible in the public and making a big deal out of it. Showcases on youtube, discussions on TV etc. It would draw attention to the cause, but it would also draw attention to CE and raise the sales of CE's products.

This is what I am bringing up here. Let's use marketing and media tools to create public focus on this, explain graphically what is happening and force a reaction from Cupertino.

All of this without any Christian message and all of the other things. Just pure and simple: Deliver what you promise, Apple.
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trickkelly

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Now that you present it like that, I can actually see this happening. If CE could leverage this issue for its own marketing and profit purposes, we have a good chance of it happening. The thought of allowing access back (to myself) to the app store because apps are properly protected is actually pretty exciting.

I would support this endeavor in any way I could.
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Phaneron Seed

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I agree with AJ. In order to get noticed, this needs to be addressed as a Parental Controls issue, not a Christian accountability issue. Modern "culture," is unfortunately, as the word suggests, just about as toxic as a Petri dish spawning some horrible virus that will surely kill us all!

As a company licensed to use Apple's software development tools, Covenant Eyes may or may not be able to help. They are in a delicate position politically. I can understand their reluctance to become a thorn in Apple's side with regard to this issue. No, I think the end users will need to originate a complaint to Apple directly.

If CE can or will help, the best way to get their attention is to keep this thread going and make it the top issue until we "get satisfaction"! There's already one response from a CE representative in this thread; they are surely reading. I know they are sympathetic with our frustration.

In the meantime, those of you who are following this thread should also contribute to this one on the Apple Support site:

http://https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3649405?tstart=0

With regard to change.org, I think it would be best to seek a third-party ally to spearhead our complaint. There may be a petition already in progress somewhere, but I haven't found one. Perhaps an anti-porn organization such as http://www.moralityinmedia.org would take up our grievance. They've had several successful national campaigns recently.
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AJ

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Hi Andy,

First of all thanks a lot for the link to the Apple forum, I was not aware of this!

Second, I agree that this "might" "potentially" cause some issues between CE and Apple. If I was on CE's side, I would take this fight up. David vs. Goliath style. This is a legitimate question to ask and it's a legitimate discussion to have in public as Apple does not react for a long time. I cannot see any realistic negative impact on CE here, but only positive outcomes. They can show to a large audience that they stand for something.

Third, I think to give it into the hands of individuals is not going to work. We as individuals care about it, but we do not have the firepower. Our life needs to focus on something else. There has to be an organization picking it up or a group of people.

Fourth: How about a parental organization or a magazine about parenthood? Nobody likes to discuss about addiction to porn, but to keep your kids safe is important.
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Phaneron Seed

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Respondents to my post on the aforementioned Apple forum have *politely* informed me that Apple doesn't participate in the support community dialog. Therefore, we are likely to receive more trolling than sympathy from the chat room occupants.

If you feel the need to vent, its probably best to do so through the Apple feedback mechanism, rather than brave the shark tank of the support community!

http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html
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ant

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Hmm...I have just found out, that though you can get your accountability friend to set a restriction on your phone so you won't install any apps that has in-app browser. However you can download manually on your computer and sync back to your iphone..hmm does anyone know how to solve this?
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Tyler Mick

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Have said accountability partner make an administrator account on your computer and change your own account to a normal user. Then your partner can create parental controls on your iTunes that prevent you from accessing the iTunes store and thus downloading new apps. Just make sure you delete the offending apps from your computer first. That's what I did before I switched to Android. It's frustrating not having administrator privileges on one's own computer, though.
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ant

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Will CE track all activities in Android?
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Tyler Mick

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It tracks all browsing in the stock web browser and in two third-party browsers, Dolphin and Skyfire. In addition, it keeps track of how long you use every other app on your phone. Also, far, far less Android apps have built-in web browsers than do iOS apps. They just redirect links to your default browser, just like a computer.
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Tyler Mick

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However, I am now using X3Watch on my Android phone, as it tracks all URL-based web traffic across the entire device, which means that even the relatively few Android apps that do pack in browsers (usually for good reasons) will be tracked by my accountability software. And it similarly keeps track of what apps I have installed. I still use Covenant Eyes on my laptop, though, since X3Watch does not yet support multiple users on one account.
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ant

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I will probably go with your first suggestion. I still love my iPhone :P. Thanks anyway.
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Tyler Mick

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Haha, there's certainly nothing wrong with that! Yeah, I switched to Android for more reasons than just accountability; I'm just liking the operating system more, personally.
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jdg

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Wait, is this true? I know this used to be the case, but I'm pretty sure that if you have restrictions set on your phone, even downloading apps to your computer and trying to sync will not allow them to get onto your phone. Have you confirmed that you can actually do this? I did exactly what Tyler mentioned first a few years back with the Admin accounts, and frankly it was a nightmare. Your computer wants you to provide admin credentials for a lot of things, which you wouldn't be able to do. It's definitely worth it if that is the only way (it was worth it for me), but I'm 95% certain it's not.
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trickkelly

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That's good to know about the Android. Really encouraging actually. Re: syncing apps to your phone from iTunes when there are restrictions set on your phone: in my experience you can't do this. I've tried this before and sometimes it appears, according to the syncing interface in iTunes, that you're moving apps to your phone, but they don't actually move over to the phone. Such has been my experience at least.
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ant

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Could it be because I restored my iphone from backup, though the restriction is still there. That should stop me from syncing apps back to my iPhone.

anyway i will ask my partner to reset the restriction code and see what happen after. Thanks
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ant

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Hmm...it seems i can't sync the apps anymore. My partner hasn't changed the restriction password. Maybe it was just a glitch from apple when you restore your phone from the backup..or maybe only one time sync?

Tyler, do you know if Android has something like restriction feature to "App Store" and the web browser?
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ant

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Safe app:
Anki flashcard app
Clear
Analog Camera
Data Man

Non Safe App
Dropbox - :(((((( you can upload pdf file and when you select 2 words from that pdf it will have an option to search the terms in wikipedia.
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ant

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Does anyone know which GPS iOS app with no in app browser?

thanks
anton
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Fred Gampson

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Safe:
Pandora
VLC

Unsafe:
Google Earth
National Geographic Atlas (I'm posting from there now).
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Fred Gampson

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Synthesia for iPad is also safe.
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ant

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Good news for everyone. IOS7 solves this problem.

Now you can install apps with in app browser and set a website restrictions under Restrictions setting.

Use covenant eyes browser, and will still work even when you set restricted websites.

Make sure you turn off, installing apps too..to avoid installing Opera, Chrome, or other browsers.

thanks
anton
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Chance

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Hi ant, you mean there is now a restriction settings under the general iPhone settings for websites? And this takes affect for all apps or individual apps?
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ant

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yup, under Settings --> General -- > Restrictions,

this takes affect for all apps (i've checked on chrome and firefox too), so I would recommended IOS7.
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ant

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I haven't tried on Opera Mini browser, so maybe it's different behaviour.
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ant

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This won't work on Opera Mini browser, so make sure we disable the App Store preventing us to install it.

But this restrictions mean, we won't be able to open unrestricted websites even from the covenant eyes browsers, so the purpose of web monitoring will become obsolete.
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J. Medina LLC

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I shared this reply on another topic, but I believe it applies to this topic as well. Feel free to copy and paste these recommendations on any other topic you think it's beneficial. Let's spread the word. Here it is:

That was my concern before with my iDevices. But there are some great news with iOS7. I believe that now you don't even need to uninstall or restrict apps with browser capabilities.

Just go to:

Setting > General > Restrictions

You will need to let your accountability partner or a family member (maybe your wife) select a pin number unbeknownst to you.

Assign appropriate ratings for your Music, Movies, Apps etc.

Proceed to:

> Websites

Then check off Limit Adult Content

You also have the option to restrict access to specific websites. Although, I don't believe this is really necessary with the Limit Adult Content checked off.

Close settings and you are set.

Now every time you try to access a website or do a search with adult content, it will be automatically blocked. A message will show saying: You cannot browse "http://www....." because it is restricted. It doesn't matter which app you are browsing from. It's a beautiful thing!

Now, there's still one more piece of good news. If you use safari as your primary browser (as I do), it will not let you delete your browsing history. So you can have your accountability partner review your browsing history next time you meet with him.
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Ralph

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Is this still all valid with the new & current ios (9?)?
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Kevin

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Anyone who is reading this thread should also check out this more recent discussion of the topic: 

https://helpforum.covenanteyes.com/covenanteyes/topics/ce-is-easily-cercumvented-by-apps-that-have-b...
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Kevin

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Thanks everyone for your posts.  I've always taken the approach to use the CE browser in combo with restrictions and download only a few apps.  The hard part is figuring out which apps are safe!  Anyone have a list of safe iOS apps that have no way to get to a built-in browser?  Some apps that I thought were safe have turned out not to be.  Apple News, Dropbox, My Fitness Pal, any Google App, even the YouVersion Bible app!! - they've all turned out to have built-in browsers that make them unsafe.  A list of safe apps would really help.  

I'm curious about the second approach - setting web restrictions to allow only specific websites.  I would love to be able to safely use the Dropbox app, My Fitness Pal app, and the YouVersion Bible app.  Is this approach really safe??  I would think I would have to be VERY selective of what websites I have allowed.  No google.com or any other search engine since unsafe images can be accessed.  Using the approach setting web restrictions to allow only specific websites, does anyone have a list of safe website to allow?
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Kevin

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Does the Pokémon GO iOS app have a built-in browser making it unsafe for use?