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Latest Apple Software Helps Worried Parents By Limiting It’s Use

Apple has announced new controls

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Apple
Apple restricts third-party repair chances on new Mac devices. VOA

For Apple users worried about how much time they and their children spend posting photos and videos to their devices, help is on the way.

Apple has announced new controls that will allow parents to remotely limit the amount of time their offspring spend on iPhones and iPads, as well as hold up a mirror to their own online habits. The feature will be available in the next software update.

The move comes as the tech industry faces criticism that it has successfully made its smartphones and apps addictive with little thought for how people’s lives may be negatively affected by the distraction of constantly checking their devices.

Smartphone addiction

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about his own habits at an Apple developers conference this week. After trying out Apple’s new controls, he saw his usage in a new light.

“I thought I was fairly disciplined about this, and I was wrong,” he told CNN.

Earlier this year, major Apple shareholders wrote the company asking that it do more to help parents by providing tools to limit children’s screen time, while looking at how being online constantly affects customers’ mental health.

Apple appears to have listened to some of these concerns. It is introducing “Screen Time,” an app that will give users a weekly report about how much time they spend on their devices and on specific apps, as well as new ways to curb the habit.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, speaks about the company's "Screen Time" feature during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, June 4, 2018, in San Jose, Calif.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, speaks about the company’s “Screen Time” feature during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, June 4, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. VOA

Parents can give their children screen time allowances — a specific amount of time they can play a video game or check in with friends on apps such as Snapchat. Once they hit the limit, children will have to ask parents to increase the time allotment.

“We’re empowering people with the facts that will allow them to decide for themselves how they want to cut back,” said Cook.

Apple’s changes will be part of a software update typically released in September.

Apple isn’t the only company creating a digital baby sitter of sorts. Last month, Google announced it, too, was giving parents more tools to monitor their and their children’s usage.

Customer privacy

In addition, Apple revealed new ways it would limit the sharing of customer information, perhaps in response to the firestorm directed at Facebook over how the social media giant mishandled customer data. It has long been part of Apple’s message that compared with fellow Silicon Valley companies, Apple cares the most about users’ privacy.

Apple customers might not notice some of the changes. They include limiting “fingerprinting,” which gives data collectors the ability to tell one Apple computer from another. Others will allow customers to actively decide whether to allow websites that track them on the Safari browser.

Also read: Apple introduces macos mojave

“We believe your private data should remain private,” said Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi. VOA

Next Story

Samsung Competes Apple, Launches Stores and Expand Retail Footprints in US

On February 20, Samsung is also hosting its "Unpacked" event in San Francisco, where it will announce its first foldable smartphone and "Galaxy S10".

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Samsung, Apple
Samsung's retail presence in the US was marked only by pop-up stores and dedicated spaces in franchisees like Best Buy. Pixabay

Keeping in line with the prevailing competition with Apple, Samsung is planning to inaugurate three full-scale stores in Los Angeles, New York and Houston on February 20, aiming to expand its retail footprint in the US, Apple Insider reported.

Samsung intends to allow users to try and buy its products ranging from smartphones to Virtual Reality (VR) glasses and televisions via these retail stores.

Much like Apple Stores, the South Korean giant plans on providing in-person customer support along with walk-in repairs available for mobile devices.

Apple, Samsung
Apple has long touted its retail stores as one of its key advantages, since people can try products in advance and have a place to turn if they need help with setup or troubleshooting. Pixabay

Up until now, Samsung’s retail presence in the US was marked only by pop-up stores and dedicated spaces in franchisees like Best Buy. This move comes at a time when Apple is coping with declining iPhone sales, driven mostly by tough competition in China from local smartphone makers.

“Apple has long touted its retail stores as one of its key advantages, since people can try products in advance and have a place to turn if they need help with setup or troubleshooting. It remains to be seen whether Samsung would be able to cultivate an equal or superior level of support and whether or not will enough people choose to shop at outlets instead of online or at the many third-party vendors that carry Samsung gears,” the report said.

ALSO READ: Facebook, FTC Discuss ‘Multibillion Dollar’ Fine for Privacy Lapses

Due to low traffic and poor response, the company failed in its attempts at retail expansion in the UK and withdrew quickly.

On February 20, Samsung is also hosting its “Unpacked” event in San Francisco, where it will announce its first foldable smartphone and “Galaxy S10”, the report noted. (IANS)