In a surprising move, Apple is releasing a tool to help users cut down on their phone use. This is one of many announcements expected to be made this week at the much-anticipated Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
In the annual event in San Jose, California, Apple CEO Tim Cook will announce a variety of software updates as well as a plan for the future. This software-focused event is aimed at developers. Traditionally, Apple uses its annual September event to roll out new hardware, including its latest iPhones. This week, users can expect to sneak a peek at the new iOS 12 operating system, as well as the latest uses for the new iWatchOS 5, iMac, and the macOS 10.14.
In a somewhat contradictory move, Apple will introduce a tool to assist people in breaking their addictions to their phones. The “Digital Health” tool will be included in the new iOS 12 feature. Spurred by users demanding more parental controls on their phones, this tool can help track and set parameters around time on chosen apps in an effort to curb the usage of these applications and the phone in general. Apple is following the lead of Android by releasing these tools designed to silence phones after a predetermined time.
As always, Apple will devote a significant amount of time to their venerable operating system, the iOS. Apple will continue to capitalize on the growing industry of augmented reality. According to Reuters, iOS updates will now enable multiple iPhone users to look at augmented reality tools while near each other. This will be especially appealing to kids and teens who like to hang out on their phones in the same room but still interact.
Technology experts also hope that Apple will use this opportunity this week to announce a much-needed refresh of the voice-activated Siri tool, as well as possible updates to its HomePod smart speaker. Apple lags behind the market on both of these products and has been working feverishly over the last few months to make strides against the competition.