News June 6, 2018

New Apple features to expand Siri and tackle device addiction

Staff Writer
New Apple features to expand Siri and tackle device addiction

Apple has responded to pressure from family groups, psychologists and even some of its own investors, that it should bear responsibility for how teens seem to be addicted to iPhones and iPads.

In September it will be introducing “Screen Time” to provide users with weekly reports of their app usage and allow them to restrict these times, whether it be at night or at gyms.

Parents will remotely be able to monitor and limit usage by their children.

Research has shown that 92% of US teens go online daily, and 24% admit they’re online “almost constantly”.

The announcement was made at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference where the latest software is unveiled.

It is attended by about 6,000 developers who create the apps for the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

Also unveiled this year were:

  • A Shortcuts app to connect the Siri voice command with other apps to get extra on-the-go information like hotel or flight details or traffic conditions.
  • A device to provide more browsing piracy which stops share buttons created by social media platforms to track user behaviour even when they are clicked upon. Users who share items will get the option of preventing subsequent tracking.

In a move to expand augmented reality to mass usage, new support is coming for AR apps.

These include allowing a digital object to be viewed from a number of different angles and provide measurements.

More ways to share photos with recommendations, similar to what Google does.

In January, investors Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, who control $2 billion worth of Apple shares, urged Apple executives to consider the mental health issues of constant device users and to bring into play ways to restrict their use time.

Whether the new device will be effective remains to be seen.

Kevin Holesh, founder of the Movement app which helps its 5.5 million users track their device usage, said that only a few minutes of use would be shaved off.

He said it was important to get to why people become device-obsessed, citing loneliness and boredom.

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