Apple 'right' to focus on tech addiction and device security

Apple's decision to introduce tools to help people use their smartphones less should come as no surprise, according to an industry analyst.

At its annual WWDC conference, Apple revealed its iOS 12 operating system would feature Screen Time, a tool that shows users their weekly phone activity as a way to spark a change in habits.

At a time when technology addiction is becoming an increasingly discussed topic, technology expert Ben Wood of CCS Insight said this is likely to be only the beginning.

"It came as little surprise that Apple introduced a suite of apps to address the growing levels of addiction to mobile devices," he said.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

"The tools specifically designed to analyse and manage the amount of time kids spends on Apple devices will be a welcome, but potentially alarming new feature for many parents.

"Apple's focus on social responsibility closely followed that of Google at (its developer conference) I/O and illustrates a new appreciation among the tech giants of their role in helping people manage their daily engagement with technology."

Users of the tool will also be able to track their children's technology habits and set app time limits for them, as well as doing the same for themselves.

Another headline announcement at Apple's event was the firm's firmer stance on protecting user data.

New tools were announced to clamp down on Like and Share buttons and other web tools that can track users around the internet.

Following the data privacy scandal that has rocked Facebook, Apple has doubled down on its security by choosing to block some of the tools used by social media sites to track user activity online.

"It's a smart move for Apple to reflect the current concerns around security and privacy with new tools to prevent web companies from actively tracking your browsing activity," Mr Wood said.

"Although it will be largely transparent to most consumers, it will help further Apple's efforts to differentiate its products from rivals with strong security credentials."