Why it matters: At WWDC 2018, Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi made an interesting admission: He said apps often “need more attention than we realize.” He talked about how notifications draw us in for fear of missing out, which has created a new habit where we are constantly checking our phones.
And so, Apple introduced new features in iOS 12 that limit distraction and help you focus on the things that are important to you.
There are four components to Apple’s plan to limit distraction:
1. Do Not Disturb mode for bedtime can hide your big, stressful list of notifications when it’s time for bed. When you’re fully awake the next morning, you can tap a button for when you’re ready to see all your notifications and take on the day.
2. Notifications are getting a big update. “Instant Tuning” will let you turn off notifications for apps at any moment, or help notifications bypass the lock screen. Also, Apple is going to add grouped notifications to iOS (thank goodness) so they’re grouped by app, topic, or thread.
3. Apple’s new Screentime app can give you deep insights on how you spend time in your apps. You can see how often you’re picking up your phone, and what’s drawing you in. And you can also see which apps are sending you the most notifications.
4. App Limits can help you manage your time on your phone — so you can choose to only spend an hour in Instagram per day, for instance. Parents can also set App Limits on their kids by category or individual app, in case you want your kid to always have access to the Phone app, or educational apps, but want to limit their time in certain apps and websites. It works across both iPhone and iPad, and you can manage it all remotely.
All four of these components could go a long way towards breaking smartphone addiction and overstimulation.