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Apple launches app to limit screen time

Apple launch Screen Time app

Apple have launched a new app to help iPhone owners use their phones less.

The ‘Screen Time’ app will offer a dashboard showing how much time iPhone and iPad users have spent on their device, using which apps, how many notifications they receive and how their usage compares to the average.

Users will even be able to set a daily limit for individual apps and be given a notification when their time is up.

And parents will be able to access their children’s activity reports from their ow device to monitor their screen time.

Apple’s senior vice-president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi said at the firm’s annual conference: "Some apps send us flurries of notifications trying to draw us in for fear of missing out. For some of us it’s become such a habit we don’t even recognise just how distracted we’ve become."

‘Screen Time’ will be available on iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, which launches later this year.

Meanwhile, in a direct swipe at Facebook, Apple revealed it will block the social media site from tracking individual’s internet usage.

Federighi explained how "like buttons and share buttons" and comment features can "be used to track you whether you click on them or not".

"This year we’re shutting that down," he said.

Users can choose to interact with these features if they want to, but they won’t be automatically tracked on an Apple computer if they use the native Safari browser on the next version of its desktop operating system, macOS Mojave.

The company is also taking action against "fingerprinting", when third-party advertisers identify and track individual web users based on the unique way their computer is set up. This follows on from Apple’s announcement last year that they are making an effort to restrict internet cookies.

Dr Lukasz Olejnik, independent security and privacy researcher and consultant, told The Guardiadn: "Mass deployment of fingerprinting protection is a game-changer for privacy engineering, and for users.

"Put simply, there are two big classes of tracking: cookies and fingerprinting. It appears that Apple has set a goal to go after all techniques that may be used in third-party tracking. It’s an arms race and I believe Apple may be winning."

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