Apple's new wellness features really, really want to fix your smartphone addiction

James Martin  CNET

James Martin CNET

Apple Inc. has unveiled a slate of controls to curb smartphone addiction and make it harder for users to be tracked online, even as the company rolled out new features created to keep people tethered to their devices.

The new Apple features won't reach users for a few months.

At its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple (AAPL) rolled out a new, long-awaited digital health feature, addressing these rising concerns.

Google unveiled new Android usage tools last month, including a dashboard that shows users how much time they've spent on their phones and the ability to enable a do not disturb mode by simply facing the phone downward. You can then set time limits for each app according to your preferences which will help you limit the usage of that particular app. Even if users click to share an item, they will get a prompt with an option to prevent subsequent tracking.

Jana Partners applauded the changes.

These new tools in iOS 12 and MacOS are accompanied by new features from Apple in the realm of augmented reality, showing the tricky balance companies have between promoting immersiveness as well as digital well-being.

Morneau Takes Dig At Scheer’s Business Experience During Trans Mountain Tiff
Once the sale is finalized, Ottawa plans to take on remaining construction of the addition to the pipeline. Her tweet also stated "this project has more certainty than ever before".

Apple wants you to put the damn smartphone away - no seriously. The company said it would place new restrictions on how apps can access users' cameras and microphones, and make it more hard for data-collection firms to create identifiable "fingerprints" of individual devices. Will the upcoming new version of tvOS make you remember that the Apple TV is actually a thing that exists?

Apple has sought to position itself as a leader in digital privacy, and chief executive officer Tim Cook has publicly sparred with Mark Zuckerberg over the Facebook CEO's data-sharing controversies. A new report claims Apple is looking to tackle this challenge by focusing more on its ad sales business.

Apple announced that it's finally bringing group calling support to its FaceTime video messaging app, allowing up to 32 individuals to call and join in on a single FaceTime livestream between connected and compatible Mac, iPhone and iPad devices.

Among the features created to keep users glued to their devices, the company showed off new augmented reality features that blend the real and online worlds - including a demonstration of a new Lego children's playtime app that allows kids to use their phones to interact with toy models they had built.

The software update will also let people group similar tasks together into shortcuts that can be accessed by simple phrases like "heading home".

"Apple's focus on social responsibility closely followed that of Google at (its developer conference) I/O and illustrates a new appreciation among the tech giants of their role in helping people manage their daily engagement with technology".