Tony Fadell Calls Upon Apple to Fight iPhone Addiction


Tony Fadell

Tony Fadell is the “father of the iPod”, and has many years working with Apple. He believes the company should be working on a way to fight addiction to the iPhone.

Recently, Tony Fadell wrote up an editorial for WIRED UK, and put together a few different cogent thoughts on why he believes Apple should be working towards combating iPhone addiction. He notes that some would argue this is a “Facebook problem”, and even admits that some would say it’s simply a “kids’ issue”, but argues that all of us –young and old– have had our “lives transformed” ever since the iPhone was launched more than a decade ago.

For his part, Fadell believes Apple should be doing more at the software level, and give iPhone owners more information about their daily routines and habits. This would give each individual the ability to see “more about how they use their device”. Information is power, and perhaps if someone could see, in easily digestible methods, just how often they use their device and what they’re doing on it, they can adjust accordingly.

“I believe that for Apple to maintain and even grow its customer base it can solve this problem at the platform 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.”

Fadell notes that Apple is specifically tuned for this sort of problem, considering that the company has a hold on the system-level control on its devices.

“You should be able to see exactly how you spend your time and, if you wish, moderate your behaviour accordingly. We need a “scale” for our digital weight, like we have for our physical weight. Our digital consumption data could look like a calendar with our historical activity. It should be itemised 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. Imagine it’s like a health app which tracks metrics such as step count, heart rate and sleep quality.

With this usage information, people could then set their own targets – like they might have a goal for steps to walk each day. Apple could also let users set their device to a “listen-only” or “read-only” mode, without having to crawl through a settings menu, so that you can enjoy reading an e-book without a constant buzz of notifications.”

Our Take

Fadell’s vision is a nice one, and one that Apple should probably work on. There’s no doubt that he’s right when he says that Apple is uniquely qualified for it, with its control over iOS. Addiction to our mobile devices is a major issue, and a company that wants to try and help with that is moving in the right direction.

[via WIRED UK]

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