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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Apple against mobile addiction

Por Jade

It is still paradoxical that the technology companies that are the ones that take advantage of the use of their products now bet on mechanisms to fight addiction to new technologies. Welcome be any measure to, at least, limit part of the time spent on mobile devices. The challenge, be more productive, be aware of what is done with them and, of course, try to devote the necessary time. Apple and Google, in that sense, already work in several functions in their future operating systems that are aimed precisely to reduce stress and anxiety. Although some progress was made in the presentation of Android P, Apple has wanted to squeeze even more this, let's say, a trend that is marked by the demand of society.

With iOS 12, the next major update to Apple's mobile operating system, users will have at hand a series of tools to "understand better" and "control the time" they spend interacting with their iOS devices. These features include Activity Reports, App Limits and new "Do Not Disturb" controls and Notifications designed to help users reduce interruptions and manage how much time they and their families spend on their devices. One of the changes in iOS 12 will come from an improvement in its function called "Do not disturb".

Thanks to it, the users will be able to pause all the notifications that they receive, in such a way that it can contribute to concentrate in the important thing. For example, when they are working, studying, in class or eating. Squeezing this feature more thoroughly will also have a mode called "Do Not Disturb during Bedtime" on hand. Activating this option, the device will dim the brightness of the screen and hide all notifications with the screen locked. A measure that will allow sleeping soundly given that they will not suffer interruptions due to unexpected notifications. In addition, they can be configured automatically based on a specific time or location.

It is studied at the psychological level that one of the actions that can cause more anxiety among users and generate addiction is the notifications and the visual icons of the applications. Seeing that you have received an email directly encourages you to open your mobile. The fact of having received an alert of a mobile game generates that we automatically lose the thread of a conversation. So in order to help reduce those interruptions, iOS 12 promises to give users more control to manage the way they receive those terrible notifications. For now, you can choose to disable all of them at once or configure them to receive them directly in the "Notification Center".

To make matters worse, the voice assistant Siri can also make "smart" suggestions on the configuration of notifications, for example, by silencing or deactivating alerts depending on what they are. One of the great silent bets of iOS 12 will come from the hand of "Screen Time". It is a report where statistics of use of the mobile or the electronic device are collected. This measure will be focused on allowing users to know how much time they spend in each app and website. Thus, those detailed weekly and daily activity reports will include the total time that each person has dedicated to each service, its use according to the categories of the apps, the number of notifications that they receive and how often they turn on the iPhone or the iPad.

The American company believes that in this way the addiction will be reduced. "By understanding how they interact with their iOS devices, users can control the time they spend in an app, website or category of apps in particular", guarantee company sources. A new feature called "Limits" or "Time Limits" will be focused on controlling and dissuading children and younger users, generally those users who spend more time on new technologies. Thanks to it, users can set a time limit for an app. After that period, a notification will appear on the screen indicating that you are about to exceed the set time.

This, without a doubt, will be beneficial for the parents who will fix their children a certain time. Or even to punish them if necessary. To make matters worse, parents can even veto and block access to certain applications that they consider inappropriate or not recommended for their age. From the statistics report, parents can access the activity report of their children on their own devices to know what they spend most of the time and thus manage and set the relevant limits. It will also allow parents to schedule a period of time during which the child will not be able to use the device, for example, at bedtime. When "Downtime" is activated, the notifications of apps will not be shown and these will be marked to indicate that their use is not allowed. Parents can choose which specific apps, such as Phone or Books, are always available, even if a period of inactivity has been established or the usage limit has been exceeded.