SAN FRANCISCO – Last year, Apple announced that it had created tools to help people limit their time and kids spent on iPhones. About the same time, Apple began cleaning from the App Store a number of apps offered similar services.
Now, 17 companies affected by this purification say they have a technical response to the privacy that Apple referred to them.  The companies on Thursday suggested the creation of a program programming interface, or API, a common piece of software that allows computer programs or programs to work with each other. The companies said that A.P.I. can tap on Apple technology that will allow them to track screen time without invading privacy.
The company's move puts pressure on Apple before its annual developer conference next week, when the iPhone manufacturer interacts with thousands of app manufacturers and publishes its vision for the year.
Apple is increasingly defensive over its tight control of the App Store. The high fees for selling services in the App Store and competition from Apple's own apps accuse the technology giant of abusing its power.
Spotify recently complained to European regulators that Apple used the App Store to give its Apple Music service an unfair advantage. Dutch regulators are investigating whether apples abused the control of the app store. This month, the Supreme Court allowed an antitrust class action to move forward, saying consumers have the right to try to prove that Apple used the App Store to raise app prices.
And Kidslox and another parental control card, Qustodio, filed a complaint with European competition personnel over Apple's forced changes in their apps. Another parental control app complained to Russia's antitrust authorities.
Apple refused to comment on Thursday.
Apple has often made A.P.I.s to encourage app developers to use their technology. While the 17 app makers launched a technical proposal on how it could work, a new A.P.I.
This week, Apple published a website explaining its approach to the App Store, saying it strives to create "a safe and reliable place for customers" and "a good business opportunity for all developers."  Apple said about 100,000 apps were reviewed a week and rejected about 40 percent, usually for minor errors or privacy issues. (Security experts say the approach has made iPhones safer than Android devices.) Apple emphasized that it received competition in the App Store.
Andrew Armor, a developer whose app screen time was rejected by Apple, said he and the other developers had begun to collaborate after The New York Times reported last month on Apple's cleansing. He and Mr. Yevpak said they were upset that Apple had said in their reply to the article that it removed their apps because "they put users' privacy and security at risk".
Mr. Armor said Apple had never said so when it removed or rejected their apps. "All they said was that it went against one of their rules," he said. "None of us did anything malicious."
The developers said they were encouraged to act by Tony Fadell, a former Apple leader and one of the iPhone creators. Mr. Fadell talked about Apple's measures against screen-time apps and suggested the technology that companies are now proposing.
Mr. Fadell corresponded with several of the developers. "I'll push it out to the world – just make sure it's done before WWDC," he said in a message like The Times, using the acronym for Apple's developers next week's meeting.
A spokesman for Mr. Fadell said he had encouraged the effort but was not immediately available for comment.
Because Apple has demonstrated that it can enable people to track the time they spend on their phones – in addition to what their kids do – without compromising on privacy, developers said Apple should give them an API that would allow them to Do the same.
The companies said they had wanted such an A.P.I. for many years, but was forced to use solutions.
Many used a technology called mobile device management, or M.D.M., which allows an iPhone to control another. Apple allowed the exercise for years, but changed its policy last year. Apple said M.D.M. gave the apps too much access to children's devices.
"This is not about competition," Apple said in a reply to The Times & # 39; article. "It's about safety."
Apple has removed or limited more than two dozen screen times and parental controls, according to a review of The Times. Still, Apple has released at least three apps that use M.D.M., according to Sensor Tower, a company tracking information about apps.
Several apps like Apple cleaned, did not use M.D.M. but was told that they had been removed to use their own technology, virtual private networks.
Apple refused to comment on why it had removed these apps.