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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 responds to movies disappearing from iTunes library. Flickr Commons
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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 Responds to Disappearing iTunes Movie Purchase Issue

Apple is constantly working with content providers to expand the iTunes Store catalogue and to make more items available in more countries

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Apple responds to movies disappearing from iTunes library. Flickr Commons

Apple has responded to a tweet by a user who complained about the disappearance of purchased movies from the iTunes library.

The tweet by Anders G da Silva — who recently relocated from Australia to Canada — said three movies he had purchased from iTunes had been removed from his account and he was unable to play or re-download them, Apple Insider reported on Sunday.

“After reviewing the case I have noticed that the content provider has removed these movies from the Canadian Store. Hence these movies are not available in the Canada iTunes Store at this time,” a Senior Advisor from Customer Care Support at iTunes Store tweeted in reply to da Silva.

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An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Apple Support acknowledged that the movies were gone and attempted to rectify the issue by providing rental credits to rent a movie priced up to $5.99, far off the value of the missing films, the report added.

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“If you change your country setting, some movies may not be available to re-download from the movie store if the version you purchased isn’t also available in the new country. If needed, you can change your country setting back to your prior country to re-download those movies,” a CNET report quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying.

“Apple is constantly working with content providers to expand the iTunes Store catalogue and to make more items available in more countries,” said Apple Support. (IANS)

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