Apple Inc. on Monday unveiled new controls to help people curb the amount of time they spend on iPhones and iPads, as well as allow parents to remotely track and limit their children's use of those devices - a response to growing societal concern that adults and children are too focused on phones.
The company said a new app it will release in September called "Screen Time" will provide users with weekly reports of the apps they use and allow them to set time limits for their use of those apps. Parents will be able to use the system to remotely monitor the apps their children use and limit their time on devices.
The new features played a central role at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, a gathering of about 6,000 developers who create the apps for the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. The event is designed to show off Apple's latest software - including the newest features to further integrate into people's digital lives.
Those new features include a new Shortcuts app that will connect the Siri voice command with certain apps - for instance, Siri could state flight and hotel information from the Kayak app with a voice command.
Though Apple has offered parental controls for years, analysts say the system only allows parents to set limits on their children's device use - not monitor it on a continuing basis. The new "Screen Time" feature changes that by giving parents those same capabilities.
A new Reports feature will detail how users spend time with the iPhone and iPad, including how often per hour they look at their devices, when they are using particular apps and what apps are sending the most notifications.