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Polished System of Apple Takes on Smartphone Addiction

Apple has been working to ramp up revenue from services and digital content such as music and movies, but most of the cash it takes in comes from iPhone sales

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Try these fitness apps on Apple Watch Series 4 for marathon season. Flickr Commons

Apple’s polished iPhone line-up comes with tools to help users dial back their smartphone obsessions, amid growing concerns over “addiction” and harmful effects on children.

An iOS 12 mobile operating system that will power new iPhones unveiled on Wednesday, and be pushed out as an update to prior models, has new features to reduce how much they distract people from the real world.

Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said of iOS 12 at a developers conference earlier this year the new system offers “detailed information and tools” to help users and parents keep tabs on device use.

A new “Screen Time” tool generates activity reports showing how often people pick up their iPhones or iPads, how long they spend in apps or at websites, and numbers of notifications received.

Users will be able to set limits on time spent in apps. Parents will be able to get activity reports from their children’s iPhones or iPads, and impose time limits on apps from games and news to social media and messaging.

Apple
A demonstration of the newly released Apple products is seen following the product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S. Sept. 12, 2018. (VOA)

The operating system will also allow people to designate “down time” when iPhones or iPads can’t be used — perhaps a child’s bedtime or a grown-up’s meditation hour.

Activist investor Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which both have stakes in Apple, early this year called on the company to give parents more tools to ensure children are using its devices in ways that aren’t hurting them.

The investors reasoned that doing so would pose no threat to Apple, because the company makes the bulk of its money selling devices, not from how much people use them.

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Apple has been working to ramp up revenue from services and digital content such as music and movies, but most of the cash it takes in comes from iPhone sales.

The letter cited a growing body of evidence that excessive smartphone use may be having negative consequences on young people.

A study of teachers found the vast majority felt smartphones were a growing distraction at schools, eroding the ability of students to focus in class and a seeming cause of social and emotional difficulties. (IANS)

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Apple Launches Fitness Apps on Apple Watch Series 4 For Marathon Season

The marathon season begins with the "Mumbai Marathon" that is scheduled for January 20

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Apple Watch
Apple watch series 4.

Aiming to serve fitness enthusiasts better as “Mumbai Marathon 2019” inches closer, Apple has recommended some advanced activity, communications and health-tracking apps in its “Watch Series 4” to train people keeping a record of their resting, workout, recovery, walking and breathing sessions.

Activity competitions would allow users to challenge other ‘Apple Watch’ wearers, track active calories burned and exercise minutes earned.

Apple has recommended several apps on iPhone and Watch Series 4 apps to monitor people’s indoor and outdoor activities, along with pace alerts and automatic workout detection features.

Some of the apps include — “Strava – Run, Ride, Swim” app, “Streaks Workout” app, “Seven – 7 Minute Workout” app and “8fit Workouts and Meal Planner” app — among the others.

Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Try these fitness apps on Apple Watch Series 4 for marathon season. Flickr Commons

While the “Strava” app allows users to track and analyse key statistics like distance, pace, speed and elevation, the “Streaks Workout” app helps users customise their exercises.

“Seven – 7 Minute Workout” and “8fit Workouts and Meal Planner” apps provide workout and meal plans recommended by nutrition experts.

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Other apps like “WaterMinder”, “Asana Rebel”, “Runkeeper” and “Breathe” to maintain users’ water intake and track their yoga, running and breathing activities.

The marathon season begins with the “Mumbai Marathon” that is scheduled for January 20.  (IANS)