Does Apple want to improve our digital health?


writer icon Kay Lagercrantz     WWDC18   |   Tech     🕐 04. Jun. 2018

Today at 10 am in California, Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the much-anticipated keynote at Apple’s 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The opening speech has in the past been used to make big announcements to do with major software updates, as well as the introduction of new products. 

According to Bloomberg, one main focus from Apple this year will be a software update designed to help people use their gadgets less. In a time when we are increasingly dependent on our phones, some may feel that this update could not come quickly enough.

Greater control
Apple is apparently going to offer iPhone users a greater awareness and control over their smartphone habits, with the aim of helping them cut down. It does raise a lot of questions about who is responsible for how much time a user spends on their phone, and why Apple feel this software is important.

Rumoured to be named Digital Health, it will be interesting to see what form the software might take. It may be a passive approach, with a push notification informing the user after they have used their device for a certain number of minutes or hours.

However, it is possible there could be a harder approach, for those who are very serious about cutting down. Perhaps users could choose a time limit and, when the limit is reached, they are locked out of their phone, only being able to make and receive calls.

Expensive tickets
With a ticket price of $1 599, you might think you were looking at VIP Backstage tickets to a Beyoncé concert. In fact, it is the price for admission to WWDC. This year, the annual event runs from 4-8 June and is held at the McEnery Centre in San Jose, California.

WWDC is one of two major events hosted by Apple every year and focuses on software platforms such as iOS and macOS, which developers build apps for.

The high cost to attend does rather create a divide between those who can afford the ticket price and those who can not. Apple tries to make up for this by offering scholarships for talented developers, including students from the age of 13.

10 years of the App Store
2018 is a significant year for Apple, as it is ten years since the launch of the App Store. Today it boasts over 2 million apps, although the average smartphone user accesses just nine apps a day, and a total of the same 30 apps per month.

Guided workshops
Other things happening at WWDC include technical and design-focused sessions with Apple engineers. There are even workshops, where attendees can be guided by the experts and gain knowledge and help with their own designs.

One thing is certain, there will be some big announcements from Apple today. If the rumours are true then one cannot help but wonder just how far the reported Digital Health software is going to go towards battling iPhone addiction. Will we see a revolutionary approach to how we use our phones? Or are we going to be presented with a mere gesture, a function as optional as the alarm clock?

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