Apple Is Trying To Get People To Use Their Phones - Less

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Users will also be able to set a time limit on certain apps.

In short, Apple is developing ways to make the user less addicted to the phone and not stick to it always. When a user's self-allotted time is up, there is a notification advising them to stop.

"This year Facetime is going to take a big leap forward", said Apple's senior VP of software engineering, Craig Federighi at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose. That month, two shareholders wrote the company a letter asking it to address excessive cellphone use to help the mental health of minors.

And that underscores a paradox: Apple is introducing features to limit iPhone use at the same time it is encouraging more use by building in more useful features.

Seeing as how the tech-giant is expected to unveil a trio of new iPhone models this fall featuring Face ID and TrueDepth camera systems, it would've only seemed appropriate for Apple to also update Animoji - its burgeoning 3D facial imaging and emoticon-avatar generating platform.

Jana Partners applauded the changes. In that context, Google and Apple's new tools to help wean users off their device dependence can be seen as a kind of moral response to a growing societal problem.

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And while some would argue this is perhaps an issue best left for parents to feud over, Apple still rose to the occasion and introduced a trio of new utilities in iOS 12 created to help curb device usage. "Here's Apple telling the world: We want you to use our products less". Because these features take time to develop, it's unlikely that Apple simply saw Google's announcements and made a decision to copy them.

Even better yet, a users' video square will enlarge when they are speaking, and reduce in size when they are silent, making video chatting with so many people less confusing. 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.

Next is a much-anticipated grouped notifications feature, which will essentially group notifications by the app and allow users to view an extended list of them by tapping a single window to view.

In Safari, "Intelligent Tracking Prevention" will block social media "Like" or "Share" buttons from collecting information from users without permission.

Apple added some cool features to Siri, including a new Shortcuts feature and app based on Apple's Workflow acquisition. It will also allow users to create emojis of themselves - animated cartoon likenesses - similar to those already announced by Facebook and Snap and rival smartphone maker Samsung.