Apple aims to curb phone addiction with new wellness features

Apple aims to curb phone addiction with new wellness features

Apple's upcoming iOS 12 release will feature a new app that will be a must-have for designers and scrapbookers alike.

Apple is expected to launch a few exciting software updates at Monday's annual developer conference in San Jose, California, but don't expect any news about new iPhones or other fun products. But Apple has done more than just make the update available for older devices, it's also optimized iOS 12 to make those older devices run smoother and faster.

All in all, the improvements coming to Photos in iOS 12 sound pretty cool, even though Federighi may not have devoted a lot of time to talking about them.

He said Apple will give users "more control on how many notifications you receive" with what he called "Instant Tuning For Notifications", allowing users to change how many notifications from particular apps they receive from the lock screen.

Notifications are getting improved in iOS 12.

"You can make decisions about how much time you'd like to spend with your device each day", Apple's Craig Federighi told developers.

The new features include ways for parents to monitor their own screen time, as well as keep an eye on how long their children are using their iOS devices. Other iOS favorites, such as FaceTime and Animoji, will also undergo transformations alongside key updates to the Do Not Disturb function. Years ago, Steve Jobs claimed Apple's objective was to merge technology and the liberal arts; we are the human tech company, he implied, and the new privacy features that challenge Facebook and Google seem to be in that tradition.

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Music lovers also will be able to set up the HomePod and other speakers through Apple's Home app. Safari will also prevents advertisers from collecting characteristics specific to each user's mobile device so they can't identify your device and retarget ads to users.

An Apple Developer membership costs $100 per year, and unless you are planning on creating and selling apps, isn't worth signing up for just to get early access to iOS 12.

Closing off the iOS 12 presentation was the unveiling of Memoji - personalised emoji based on a user's appearance which can be customised - and FaceTime upgrades. Watch also got smarter about workouts, and can sense when they start and stop.

FaceTime will support group calls going forward, with calls supporting up to 32 simultaneous users.

Using the new Siri Shortcuts app, iPhone owners can build customized actions for Siri to perform upon hearing a given command.

This version includes numerous improvements and features and will be available on all phones that are now able to run iOS 11. Participants can use Memoji and other creative features, while Group FaceTime's interface will automatically expand whichever user is now speaking in the call. Federighi credits the boost in performance for older devices to iOS's tight integration with its A-series chips that power all of the devices that support iOS 12. The update will be available to developers today, with a general public release coming later in the year.

Apple has grabbed another major Photos feature for iOS 12 in the form of intelligent sharing suggestions.

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