Apple’s Restrictions Aren’t Helping Tech Addiction

When Apple kickings off its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, it’s largely expected that Apple CEO Tim Cook will introduce a few new “digital wellness” features for iOS, the iPhone’s operating system. It would follow in the footsteps of Google–which introduced its own suite of wellness tools for Android last month–and a growing sentiment in Silicon Valley that we need better tools to unglue ourselves from our phones.

On iPhones, though, building those tools hasn’t been easy. A group of 20 app developers and supposed leaders in the “digital wellness” space–people like Chris Dancy, author of Don’t Unplug: Embracing Technology to Improve Their own lives, and Catherine Price, author of How to Violate Up With Your Phone–are now calling attention to the ways Apple’s platform has historically stood in the way of third-party digital wellness apps. In a petition to the company, they’re asking Apple to open up its software growth kit and dedicate developers the ability to customize the iPhone’s home screen, auto-trigger Do Not Disturb mode, or offer richer insight into app usage.

“We have millions of iPhone supporters waiting for us to induce our innovative tools available to them, ” the petition tells, “but all we can do is offer unsatisfactory products, or encourage them to switch to Android.”

It’s a clear message to Apple: The digital wellness revolution is coming, and if developers can’t stimulate tools for your platform, you’re going to get left behind.

Time Well Spent


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