How Apple plans to help you spend less time on your phone

07 June, 2018, 06:34 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook poses for selfies with the company's WWDC scholarship recipients

Tech developers, children's advocates, politicians, and others have been increasingly raising alarms about devices and apps encouraging addiction-like behaviour among their users.

While introducing this feature to the world, Apple chose to show Facebook apps as an example, which is amusing because they could have chosen any other app. More importantly, they must "not provide a store-like interface, or include the ability to browse, select, or purchase software not already owned or licensed by the user".

Along with this new way of monitoring your digital life, iOS 12 can also be used to block notifications appearing on your iPhone at night or at certain times during the day which should help users avoid being distracted by their device. Federighi confirmed that, saying there's likely plenty of interest in porting iOS apps to macOS, and that Apple's been working on a way to simplify that process - all while maintaining two separate OSes to serve different use cases and device form factors.

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So says 9to5Mac, which reports that while the feature wasn't announced during the firm's WWDC keynote on Monday, a fiddle with the iOS 12 developer beta uncovers a new setting in Face ID to 'Set Up an Alternative Appearance'.

"We know there are people who would like extra help", Federighi said of curbing app time. One called App Limits will let them preset the amount of time they can spend with each one.

The feature, "Screen Time", is account-based and works across all of a child's iOS devices.

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The app switcher now allows you to swipe apps away without the need to hold down on them first.

"Apps beg us to use our phone when we should be doing something else", Craig Federighi, the company's senior vice president of software engineering, said at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose, California.

Cook said he'd been testing them out and was alarmed at what he found. "Ultimately, Apple might be able to sell more phones by telling people, "Our phones come with these structures that allow you to not spend so much time on your phone'". He said that the idea to do something like this "is so foreign" to Apple.

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