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Rumored Apple initiative to curb smartphone use sounds just like Google’s

There might be a new Apple smartphone addiction software announcement at WWDC on Monday. Where have we heard this before?

Published onJune 1, 2018

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  • There will likely be a new Apple smartphone addiction software announcement at WWDC on Monday.
  • The system sounds remarkably like Google Dashboard, announced at Google I/O 2018.
  • This is yet another example of the two companies cribbing from each other.

On Monday, Apple will hold its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose. Usually, Apple announces software updates at WWDC and sometimes also updates or launches new hardware – as long as that hardware isn’t an iPhone, which the company usually launches in September.

With WWDC only days away, rumors are starting to leak of what Apple will launch and discuss this year. One of the more prominent rumors, via Bloomberg Quint, is that Apple will announce new features in iOS to help curb smartphone addiction.

It’s a really lovely idea, if you ignore the fact that Google just announced its own software response to smartphone addiction at Google I/O 2018.

What Google I/O tells us about the future of Android

Granted, there’s every reason to believe that the two companies have been developing similar software updates for a while now, and it just so happens that Google got to announce its system first. However, it once again draws attention to the concept that Google and Apple crib from each other all the time.

According to Bloomberg Quint’s report, the new Apple initiative will be dubbed Digital Health and will offer a series of tools to help iOS users monitor the amount of time they spend on their smart devices. The new features will be baked right into iOS 12, which is the likely name of the operating system update Apple will announce on Monday.

Google’s similar initiative – called Android Dashboard – is meant to help take control of your “digital wellbeing.” The suite offers tools to monitor smartphone usage, and lets you know how many times you’ve unlocked your phone, how much time you’ve spent on specific apps, and more.

Google also launched a new YouTube feature that will alert you when you’ve spent a certain amount of time watching YouTube videos, in an effort to keep you aware of your viewing habits.

Both Google’s and Apple’s initiatives are a response to the rising fear of smartphone addiction, which at this point is an anecdotal name for an unofficial “disease.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) – the official manuscript of medically-recognized mental illnesses – does not recognize smartphone addiction as a legitimate disorder.

NEXT: Samsung ordered to pay Apple $539 million for iPhone patent infringement

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