Apple's latest update might be it's most important yet
While scientists and engineers have been busy building clever robots that can perform acrobatic feats, fire guns and generally learn the skills necessary to over-run mankind, one of the most significant advances in technology is somewhat rotting our brains. Although we’re not quite at the stage where we’re running for our lives from a pack of shotgun totin’, backflippin’ cyborgs, we, as a species, have become so fixated on our screens that we’d probably be too busy flicking between apps to realise that the robot uprising had begun in earnest. Social media has us scrolling listlessly to the next cute puppy picture. Online multiplayer games mean we don’t necessarily have to leave the house to be with friends or a community. And smartphones… well, these might’ve inadvertently become the biggest danger of all.
Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, we’ve become zombified by these gateways to other stuff that have instilled a keen sense of “FOMO” on that millisecond of excitement that triggers a dopamine high. Even now, you’re probably itching to see if you have a notification about something, anything. But Apple is about to help us out..
At part of its iOS 12 showcase earlier this, Apple, amongst the new playthings to suck you in further – Memojis, improved AR games and the like – announced a new function that’s designed to keep our screen addictions in check.
Screen Time monitors everything you do on your device and could be the most important update of all time. Think you’ve got a handle on your device usage? Well, this weekly report will tell you. It covers how much time you spend on social media, check notifications or how often you pick up your device.
You can set an allowance of time per app, and when it’s up you’ll get an alert. It even lets you simply manage notifications, so you can quickly silence interruptions.
Of course, you can choose to ignore all of this and carry on regardless, but with this update Apple is at least acknowledging that people need a bit more help to tear them away from their screens. And just think, with all the time you could potentially save away from them, you could be learning a survival technique to fight off that inevitable rise of the robots that’s on the horizon.
iOS 12 is out September 2018