Apple WWDC 2018: New iPhone software will 'stop people using it too much'

The new iPhone could tell you off for actually using it.

Apple is preparing new software that wil tell people to take a break from their phone if they are using it too much, according to a new rumour.

It comes after the company has been criticised by groups including its own shareholders for making its phones too addictive.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be held next week, and the company will show off the new iPhone software – probably known as iOS 12 – alongside a range of other software advances. Usually, the company reveals a range of features intended to make the iPhone more enjoyable and encourage people to use it more.

This year, however, iOS 12 could be packed with features intended to make people use their iPhone a little less, or at least more mindfully.

At the event, Apple will show off a new settings in sections that may be called “Digital Health”, according to a report from Bloomberg. It will include a series of tools aimed at showing people how they are using their iPhones and iPads, and detailing how much time they are spending on them, according to the same report.

It is not clear exactly what those features will be. But it will probably be similar to other software that catalogues how long each app is open for and allows users to set limits for how long they use them, after which they will either be warned about their excessive usage or blocked from using them entirely.

Earlier this year, two major Apple shareholders warned that children’s use of phones in particular could be damaging their development and that the company should look to deal with it.

“”There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility,” they wrote in a letter to the company.

“Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do.”

Google showed off very similar features for the upcoming Android P at its I/O developer conference last month. They included similar time-tracking features, as well as a tool that makes a phone’s screen go less and less compelling as bedtime approaches, to force people to go to sleep.

With iOS 11, it is possible to see some data on how much you are using each app, though it is focused on how much battery they are using rather than attempting to stem any kind of addiction.

It can be found by heading to the Settings app and searching or finding the “Battery” option – scroll down to the “battery usage” heading, click the little clock, and you wil be able to see how long each app has spent on screen and running in the background. It is important to note that the list is still ordered by how much battery it has used up, rather than time, so the apps at the top might simply be inefficient rather than particular addictions.

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