Apple has answered to intense criticism that the products of the company are affecting the mental health of children by launching a range of apps that will limit the time spent on iPhones and enable the parents to set device “allowances.”
The new tools were announced during the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) of the company. The tools will warn the users of the iPhone and the iPad if they are already spending too much time on their devices.
They have built a timer that locks the users out of the apps after an established period of time, giving them five or ten-minute warnings if the requested by the user.
The new feature will also introduce a do-not-disturb setting along with a notification manager to better “stop distractions.”
The said update will arrive with the next operating system update called the iOS 12. It builds on the current preoccupation of Silicon Valley with “digital wellness” as regulators and investors increasingly question the impact that technology could be having on the wellbeing of customers.
Earlier this year, a group of activist investors prompted Apple to modify its operating system for younger users and invest in further research regarding the effects that technology has on the younger generation.
At the time, Apple responded by saying that it has “always looked out for kids.”
During the conference that was held on Monday, Craig Federighi, the software engineering chief of Apple, launched the new features including activity reports for parents to have the ability to monitor what their children are doing on the iPhones or iPads.
He stated: “We think this will be helpful for many people, but especially for kids. We can help families achieve the right balance.”
The parents will have the ability to set usage allowances on the devices of their children.
Recently, Google introduced tools that are aimed to monitor the time spent on Android apps this month, while last week, Instagram announced that it is developing a new feature that will monitor screen time.
The keynote at the WWDC was attended by around 6,000 developers and was watched by millions across the web. Apple made thinly veiled taunts at Facebook on two occasions which included a reference to the “trusted news” that will be shown on the News portal of the macOS and iOS 12.
The tech giant also said that it planned to improve the data privacy for its customers. Safari, its web browser, will warn the users when a plugin that includes “Like” or “Share” buttons that are used by Facebook to track people around the web, is attempting to mine their data.
Craig Federighi stated: “Your private data should remain private.”
Apple also announced some improvements to the Apple TV, augmented reality, and the Apple Watch.