Former iPod Chief Tony Fadell Believes Apple Should Tackle Smartphone Addiction

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Tony Fadell, who was instrumental to the creation of the iPod, believes Apple should tackle the issue of smartphone addiction.

    Tony Fadell, second from the left, alongside Steve Jobs and other Apple executives following the original iPhone announcement in 2007

    In an editorial with Wired UK, the former Senior Vice President of the iPod division said Apple can solve the problem at the software level by "empowering users to understand more about how they use their devices."

    "To do this, it should let people track their digital activity in detail and across all devices," said Fadell. "You should be able to see exactly how you spend your time and, if you wish, moderate your behavior accordingly."

    Fadell said his solution would essentially be like a digital scale to monitor time spent in apps, web browsing, and other tasks:
    He added that Apple could also let users set their device to a "listen-only" or "read-only" mode, but it's unclear how this would differ from Apple's existing Do Not Disturb mode, which can be enabled when an iPhone is locked or unlocked.

    Fadell believes Apple is "particularly well-placed to tackle this problem," and that implementing these tools wouldn't be difficult.

    Fortunately, it appears that Apple is already working on improved parental controls similar to what Fadell outlined. More specifically, Bloomberg News reported that iOS 12 will feature "new features for parents to better monitor how long apps are being used for by kids and their overall screen time."

    In January, Apple confirmed it is working on "even more robust" parental controls following pressure from investors to do more to curb smartphone addiction. The new controls would likely extend to the Mac and other devices.

    Fadell's editorial was first published in the May-June issue of WIRED magazine, as part of a series of articles about "Apple's next move."

    Article Link: Former iPod Chief Tony Fadell Believes Apple Should Tackle Smartphone Addiction
  2. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68020


    Mar 15, 2009
    I think we all know where and how we spend our time on our devices..
  3. NachoGrande macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2010
    I've already taken my iPads from my kids. It's tough to get them to disconnect. Both my husband and I consciously leave our phones in our pockets when ever we're out.
  4. iisdan macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2010
    No. No more. People who fear tech will die out in the next 50 years
  5. JilzVT macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2010
    You can't honestly expect a company to design a way for people to use their product less.
  6. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Well, tobacco companies do so...
  7. givemeanapple macrumors Demi-God


    Oct 2, 2016
    So basically a Facebook 2.0? HA!
    "It should be itemized like a credit-card bill, so people can easily see how much time they spend each day on email, for example, or scrolling through posts."
  8. rjtyork macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    I actually would enjoy a “read only” or “listen only” mode to force me off social media and read the books I need to read. Don’t know how it would actually work, but the other thing is I’m starting to believe that these phones are part of our evolutionary process. We’re going to have technology literally become a part of us in the next 20-50 years.
  9. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    As long as these trackers are opt in, I’m fine with the idea. I’m a mom and I still have my mom. I don’t need Apple being my mom. My Apple Watch already nags me enough.
  10. JilzVT macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Because they're forced to.
  11. ToneDriver macrumors newbie


    Dec 19, 2016
    While I agree that these kinds of things should be done (tracking detailed usage metrics, etc.), I'm getting tired of people taking no personal responsibility for their lives. Yeah, it's hard to put down the device sometimes. It's hard to put down those cookies and that bag of chips sometimes. Life takes a bit of sacrifice and self control. That's how it goes.

    Everyone has a part to play in it, but it feels like the responsibility is constantly being put at the feet of companies, teh government, and people other than ourselves.
  12. Spacetime Anomaly macrumors member

    Spacetime Anomaly

    Mar 9, 2017
    Way out in space
    You have to admire the man for not bowing to peer pressure and eschewing the denim look.
  13. pweicks macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2016
    This is a great initiative that I really hope Apple goes along with. Too much “screen time” is one of the reasons why there are so many weird and insane people out there nowadays. Nobody can seem to keep reality and the virtual world separated cuz we’re all addicted to our “screens”. Yeah, it’s obvious that smartphones and other readily available technology have become an almost essential part of life in many cultures (including my own obviously), but that’s no excuse to say that we can’t allow ourselves to regulate our use of all of it. Technology is meant to supplement reality, not to become reality.
  14. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    "Fadell said his solution would essentially be like a digital scale to monitor time spent in apps, web browsing, and other tasks"

    And that would lead to Apple invasion of users privacy.. unless if its it 'option'... (assuming you can trust them)
  15. jonnyb098 macrumors 68030


    Nov 16, 2010
    Is this really an addiction problem or a self control problem? Maybe its a little of both. Since some apps and notifications have very much a "slot machine" effect on the brain. But a large part of this is personal responsibility. Its like asking Doritos to make their product taste worse so you don't want to eat as much.

    EVERYTHING in life can become an addiction. Drugs, money, sex, weight lifting, gambling, video games, eating , etc etc etc. Which is why self control is important. Anything you enjoy releases dopamine in the brain therefore making it potentially addictive.

    A healthy mental/physical lifestyle is all about balance.
  16. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Its only an addiction because no one can put it down...

    What will 30 minute break tell you.??.. The world ain't coming to an end "just yet"

    I like to keep telling myself i don't have to use anything.. I just "want" to

    Overcomes just about everything :)
  17. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
    Going by that photo perhaps they should also be wary of fast food addiction as well! :rolleyes:
  18. imronburgundy macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2013
    Is it just me, or are all 6 of those people Photoshopped into that picture? The lighting doesn't look right at all...
  19. jonnyb098 macrumors 68030


    Nov 16, 2010
    People who have left facebook because of recent events are already saying they're happier. Tons of studies are out there showing how excessive social media can cause depression. Which seems to be accurate given the attitudes of todays teens and an "always on" lifestyle where bullying follows them home.
  20. bunnicula macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2008
    I'm not opposed to them studying it. Maybe they can find better uses for their devices than just being on social media all the time. I have 3 kids. Two are technically adults. The youngest will be in the fall. The eldest quit FB recently because it was stressing him out. He still reads Twitter, but doesn't post tweets himself. The middle has never really used social media. He has a FB account he has used a handful of times. He keeps to himself. My youngest is a girl and she has FB, but quit it a few years ago. She uses her Twitter and IG, but sparingly. I have never allowed Snapchat.

    In fact, I am the only person in the house who has it, but I had to use to for a grad school project. I hate the interface. It sucks.
  21. Baymowe335 macrumors 601

    Oct 6, 2017
    It's not Apple's job to fix smartphone addiction.
  22. bunnicula macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2008
    My son is glad he left. He said he may come back eventually, but he's happy now.

    I think the depression aspect occurs when people compare their lives to others' lives too much. I just don't get it because I have never really done that. I know people only show me what they want me to see.
  23. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Jun 19, 2012
    Aren't they already tackling the issue with their boring updates?
  24. Delgibbons macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2016

    The world's worst boyband.
  25. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Notice the only one missing from that picture is Tim Cook? Also notice who is right next to Steve Jobs? I see Forstall returning to Apple in a few years when Tim decides to retire.

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