Apple unveils the six new features on your iPhone

Christoph Dernbach  DPA via ZUMA

Christoph Dernbach DPA via ZUMA

Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said it was important to sometimes "stop distractions" caused by smartphones.

When it comes to how much time he spends on his iPhone, even Apple CEO Tim Cook has a problem.

In fact, Apple was fairly forthcoming in calling out the practices of "data companies", practices that put or weaken privacy of users, at its developer event.

"We've all seen these - these like buttons, and share buttons and these comment fields".

New MacOS Mojave and iOS 12 software to be released later this year will also make it harder to use trackers to create "unique fingerprints" by gleaning data about devices being used, according to Mr Federighi.

Of course, this prompted a reaction from Facebook's Chief Information Security Officer, Alex Stamos who, while suggesting that Apple was singling out Facebook, tweeted that the new version of Safari will not be able to block tracking pixels or Javascript components that work as trackers too.

To counter this, Apple will present web pages with less details about the computer, the BBC report said.

Facebook of course depends heavily on advertising revenues (assisted by tracking tools) to fund its free service, but Apple's decision means it is no longer willing to allow its platforms to be used in this way. Lax policies around sharing data with third parties led to the leak of Facebook user information to consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Earlier this year whilst visiting a school in England Cook said that while he doesn't have his own kids, he does not want his nephew to use a social network.

The Screen Time app will now tell users about the duration of time they spend on apps. Safari will also prevents advertisers from collecting characteristics specific to each user's mobile device so they can't identify your device and retarget ads to users.

Facebook executives have pushed back against critics like Apple.

For Apple users anxious about how much time they and their children spend posting photos and videos to their devices, help is on the way.

WatchOS will also be tweaked to include Walkie-Talkie - a push-to-talk Watch app, that will let two users chat together via 4G or Wi-Fi.

Also in iOS, a new Do Not Disturb function can impose a black sleep screen on your iPhone, lest your sleep be distracted by middle-of-the-night notifications.

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