Apple announces new digital health tools to reduce tech distractions

Apple has unveiled a range of new features to help users monitor their smartphone use, as part of plans to improve digital well-being.

As part of its new iOS 12 software that powers the iPhone and iPad, a new feature called Screen Time will send users weekly reports on how they are using their device to show them what is distracting them.

The technology giant said the feature will also send parents reports from their children's phones and set time limits on app usage.

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Speaking during the firm's annual WWDC conference in San Jose, Apple's Craig Federighi said it was important to sometimes "stop distractions" triggered by smartphone use.

Tech giants are beginning to pay more attention to how much time is spent using their products - last month, Google announced a digital health tool to help users monitor their device use and change their behaviours as needed.

iOS 12 will also include new Do Not Disturb features, including a new bedtime mode that will enable users to darken their screen and hide notifications until the morning.

During its developer conference, Apple also revealed a wide range of new apps and features for its library of devices, including new group-calling capabilities for FaceTime for up to 32 people.

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In iOS 12, the company's animated emoji which track a user's face, known as Animoji, have also been updated to include new animals, as well as the ability to detect when a tongue is being stuck out.

A new version of the app, called Memoji, will now also enable users to create animated emoji of their own faces instead of using an animal face.

The feature is similar to one launched by rivals Samsung on their Galaxy S9 smartphone earlier this year.