SAN JOSE, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Apple wants to help you curb your addiction to their smartphones and other devices.
They’re introducing new controls allowing you to set up “do not disturb” modes that turn off notifications at night or during trips.
You can also set up time limits for certain apps, and you’ll be notified when use time is almost up for those apps.
Readouts showing how much time you spend on each app for your phones – or your kids – are also available.
The new features should be available on Apple devices in the coming months.
Some of the controls are similar to those unveiled by Google last month, when it revealed plans to have phones go into “shush” mode when placed face down on a table and have the screen show only greyscale colors late at night.
The new Apple features are among the software updates previewed Monday at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. These and other features won’t reach users for a few months; rather, they were being shown to give software developers a chance to build new apps to make iPhones and other Apple devices more useful. The next iPhone software, iOS 12, is expected in September following the announcements on new iPhones, for instance.
Other highlights from the show include:
AUGMENTED REALITY GETS AUGMENTED
Apple rolled out new support for augmented reality applications as it unveiled a new format for digital objects that appear to live in the real world.
The update comes as Apple tries to extend AR experiences to a broader population, rather than just hard-core, tech-savvy users. The company started that effort last year when it built AR tools into most iPhones and iPads; by contrast, Google had limited that to niche Android phone models.
Digital objects created with the new format, called USDZ, will work in Apple’s Safari browser, Messages and Mail apps, meaning AR isn’t limited to stand-alone apps that people choose to download separately. The format will also get support in Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of apps for professional photographers, videographers and designers. What remains to be seen is whether there is enough of a compelling reason for someone to use AR, even if it’s built-in to everyday apps.
Apple also unveiled an app called “Measure” that measures boxes and other objects in the real world by pointing the camera at them. Apple is also offering tools to give multiple users a different view of the same digital objects viewed from different angles.
Apple wants its digital assistant Siri to do more. Third-party apps will now be able to let users invoke Siri for commonly used tasks, much the way competing assistants from Google and Amazon long have. Before, Apple had limited third-party access to a handful of categories, such as messaging, while excluding competitors to Apple’s Music service, for instance.
The software update will also let people group similar tasks together into shortcuts that can be accessed by simple phrases like “heading home.” Saying the phrase can be set to open Apple Maps to find the best route home and launching a radio app.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)