Tim Cook promises expansion of Screen Time in interview with ABC

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in iPhone
As he does from time to time, Apple CEO Tim Cook has appeared in an interview with ABC News to address user privacy, device over-use, and children's screen time.

Tim Cook, sitting down with ABC News
Tim Cook, sitting down with ABC News


Cook spoke to ABC News' Diane Sawyer on the grounds of Apple Park, in a video that is continuing the network's discussion about screen time.

User privacy

Cook is continuing Apple's message on user privacy, being perhaps one of the biggest issues of our time. Without pointing out any particular offender of what Apple wants, Cook reiterated the point that customers' data is not Apple's product.

"One of the worst things, other than something like hurting somebody or something, was the Peeping Tom. You know, somebody looking in the window," Cook said. "The people who track on the internet know a lot more about you than if somebody's looking in your window. A lot more."



He repeated a familiar refrain, slightly modified this time around.

"You are not our product," Cook said. "Our products are iPhone and iPads. We treasure your data. We want to help you, keep it private and keep it secure. We're on your side."

iPhone addiction

With Screen Time introduced in iOS 12, iPhones can give reports to users, or parents, how much time is being spent on a device. For Cook, it was around 200 times a day -- a number that was double what he expected.

"We make money if we can convince you to buy an iPhone, but I don't want you using the product a lot." Cook said. "What we want to build are products to enrich your life, do something you couldn't do without it. That's what gets us excited."

Regarding Cook's own habits, he hasn't cut back on the amount of time he spends using his time, so much as he's changed his notification habits.



Kids and iPhones

When asked about parenting with the challenges of the iPhone ever-present social media, Cook pointed to the tools at hand -- and promised expansion. Cook said that Apple was continuing work on Screen Time, with him specifically saying that there would be further refinement on age limits for apps, parental approval for them, and better labels on music with explicit lyrics.

"What we're trying to do is give the parent the controls. There's no standard for parenting, as we both know. People have different views about what should be allowed and not," Cook said. "A fix is defined differently for you and I and everyone. You know, what might be reasonable for me might be totally unreasonable for my neighbor."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    A relative of my spouse was asking for help limiting what her teenage son could do. I told her to look at Screen Time. That didn’t work for her. It turned out she wanted to be able to see what “snaps” he was sending and receiving so she could monitor that. 

    On one hand that seems invasive. On the other hand, my friends and I didn’t do such a thing when we were young but that’s likely because there wasn’t an easy way to do it like there is today. Maybe that sort of monitoring deserves some attention. 
  • Reply 2 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    So Cook was forced to respond to the NYT article that implied Apple was intentionally removing apps that competed with its own Screen Time app. Many here are always caterwauling about how evil corporations are, how corporations price gouge their customers, do nefarious things for the sake of profit, practice anti-competitive actions, and so forth. If we really believe that then why do we continue to do business with them?
  • Reply 3 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,106member
    How does this work now that Apple is getting more and more into services? Cook wants me using my device less but at the same time paying Apple monthly fees to do more and more stuff on those devices. That makes no sense.
    edited May 4 sflocal
  • Reply 4 of 21
    danoxdanox Posts: 387member
    A relative of my spouse was asking for help limiting what her teenage son could do. I told her to look at Screen Time. That didn’t work for her. It turned out she wanted to be able to see what “snaps” he was sending and receiving so she could monitor that. 

    On one hand that seems invasive. On the other hand, my friends and I didn’t do such a thing when we were young but that’s likely because there wasn’t an easy way to do it like there is today. Maybe that sort of monitoring deserves some attention. 
    That relative is paying the bills, if her minor son isn't doing things the right way cut him off. Very simple.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    danoxdanox Posts: 387member
    How does this work now that Apple is getting more and more into services? Cook wants me using my device less but at the same time paying Apple monthly fees to do more and more stuff on those devices. That makes no sense.
    Dense with a touch of redirection....Screen time is no different than using a watch.
    StrangeDayspscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 21
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 389member
    lkrupp said:
    So Cook was forced to respond to the NYT article that implied Apple was intentionally removing apps that competed with its own Screen Time app. Many here are always caterwauling about how evil corporations are, how corporations price gouge their customers, do nefarious things for the sake of profit, practice anti-competitive actions, and so forth. If we really believe that then why do we continue to do business with them?
    That turned out to be the latest "fake news" article and has been thoroughly debunked.  Just like when Facebook and Google were caught misusing the MDM feature allowed for businesses to install on their company phones,  every one of the companies that had installed a MDM on children's phones did in violation of the App store rules meant to protect consumers and Apple notified them to stop.  When companies didn't stop using MDM in their apps, Apple took them off the store until those companies complied.  At least two companies were following the rules and remained on the store.  The other ones are free to remove the MDM from their app and resume offering it on the App store.

    BTW, it's misleading to say those Apple is in competition with those companies.  Screen time is a feature that is included with every iOS device, and soon MacOS.  Apple doesn't sell it and isn't hurt when someone decides to purchase an app that similarly monitors screen usage.  That's very different from Apple Music vs. Spotify,  etc.
    chasmlolliver
  • Reply 7 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,006member
    How does this work now that Apple is getting more and more into services? Cook wants me using my device less but at the same time paying Apple monthly fees to do more and more stuff on those devices. That makes no sense.
    Lord you try so hard. You don’t want to pay for additional entertainment services? Fine, don’t. Your problem is solved. But it doesn’t mean Apple is nefarious or wrong for offering them to those that do. 

    As for those that do...I suspect the TV offerings will favor the living room rather than the pocket. 
    edited May 4 chasmpscooter63lolliver
  • Reply 8 of 21
    danox said:
    A relative of my spouse was asking for help limiting what her teenage son could do. I told her to look at Screen Time. That didn’t work for her. It turned out she wanted to be able to see what “snaps” he was sending and receiving so she could monitor that. 

    On one hand that seems invasive. On the other hand, my friends and I didn’t do such a thing when we were young but that’s likely because there wasn’t an easy way to do it like there is today. Maybe that sort of monitoring deserves some attention. 
    That relative is paying the bills, if her minor son isn't doing things the right way cut him off. Very simple.
    Well, yeah. That’s the point. 
  • Reply 9 of 21
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,597member
    I don't think it is contradictory to say that Apple wants to sell you a device (and some services) that require you to use the screen and yet doesn't want you to have your nose buried in it all day and night. Thanks to Screen Time, I have reduced the number of times I check my phone, and the amount of time I look at it -- though in truth Sceen Time mostly motivated me to start using Siri and Do Not Distrub (and DND While Driving) and my Apple Watch more for tasks that don't actually require me to look at the screen.

    Because my job involves computers, I still spend a lot of time looking at screens on various machines -- but I stopped using my iPhone as my go-to "timekiller" pacifier, like mindlessly watching YouTube videos or playing games. I carry a book (real book) in my knapsack now -- and if I had AirPods it would stay in my pocket even further. The iPhone is not one whit less important to me now than it was, but I use the tools Apple has provided to leverage it even better (and with less staring at it).
    pscooter63lolliver
  • Reply 10 of 21
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 375member
    danox said:
    A relative of my spouse was asking for help limiting what her teenage son could do. I told her to look at Screen Time. That didn’t work for her. It turned out she wanted to be able to see what “snaps” he was sending and receiving so she could monitor that. 

    On one hand that seems invasive. On the other hand, my friends and I didn’t do such a thing when we were young but that’s likely because there wasn’t an easy way to do it like there is today. Maybe that sort of monitoring deserves some attention. 
    That relative is paying the bills, if her minor son isn't doing things the right way cut him off. Very simple.k
    Easy to say "cut him off" -- proving you shouldn't have kids. 

    Parenting is not so much hard as there are many goals, sometimes competing, raising children. Good parents are not hard asses and dictators; we nudge, encourage, shift responsibilities, teach, guide, protect. Bullying and body slamming your kids if they don't what you say is not good parenting -- not even being a good person. 
    the monkmdriftmeyer
  • Reply 11 of 21
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,106member
    danox said:
    How does this work now that Apple is getting more and more into services? Cook wants me using my device less but at the same time paying Apple monthly fees to do more and more stuff on those devices. That makes no sense.
    Dense with a touch of redirection....Screen time is no different than using a watch.
    Apple announced a news/magazine, games and TV service. How do you utilize any of those services without being on your device? This whole screen addiction thing is a joke. Before smartphones it was computers and game consoles and before that televisions. We all turned out fine. For all we know Cook is saying he wants people to use their devices less because it’s what he thinks he’s supposed to say.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 652member
    To be honest when screen time appeared I let it run for a couple of months, and then turned it off. It was just another alert that I'd dismiss. Mind you I'm not in the group it's targeted at. I don't hang on my phone or iPad all day. But for me it was just an annoyance.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,977member
    DAalseth said:
    To be honest when screen time appeared I let it run for a couple of months, and then turned it off. It was just another alert that I'd dismiss. Mind you I'm not in the group it's targeted at. I don't hang on my phone or iPad all day. But for me it was just an annoyance.
    Me neither. I would like to see the results for my Watch and Mac though.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 762member
    larryjw said:
    danox said:
    A relative of my spouse was asking for help limiting what her teenage son could do. I told her to look at Screen Time. That didn’t work for her. It turned out she wanted to be able to see what “snaps” he was sending and receiving so she could monitor that. 

    On one hand that seems invasive. On the other hand, my friends and I didn’t do such a thing when we were young but that’s likely because there wasn’t an easy way to do it like there is today. Maybe that sort of monitoring deserves some attention. 
    That relative is paying the bills, if her minor son isn't doing things the right way cut him off. Very simple.k
    Easy to say "cut him off" -- proving you shouldn't have kids. 

    Parenting is not so much hard as there are many goals, sometimes competing, raising children. Good parents are not hard asses and dictators; we nudge, encourage, shift responsibilities, teach, guide, protect. Bullying and body slamming your kids if they don't what you say is not good parenting -- not even being a good person. 
    Taking phone privileges for a time from a child that isn’t doing what they are supposed to is bullying?  

    That’s called having a consequence for an action. There is a whole lot of nudging and responsibility shifting going on rather than consequences with kids these days. You don’t have to be dictator or body slam any child to show them right from wrong and help them understand how to respect and adhere to rules that you as a parent have in place. Just my opinion ...
    elijahgpscooter63lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 21
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 569member
    ...do all roads increasingly still lead to iCloud and data on Apple servers...?
  • Reply 16 of 21
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    My opinion is that more people should just be better parents and raise better and smarter kids. There is no software around that will make up for bad parenting, lazy parenting or irresponsible parents, of which there are many. I see the proof everyday. Too many parents probably use devices as babysitters for their kids. 
    lkruppelijahganantksundarampscooter63lolliver
  • Reply 17 of 21
    You are not our product," Cook said. "Our products are iPhone and iPads. We treasure your data. We want to help you, keep it private and keep it secure. We're on your side”
    Now I understand this (repetitive) statement from Cook from the angle of privacy, but truly this comment is kinda bullshit.
    First of all, Apple is quickly becoming more and more reliant on services revenue. iPads and iPhones are not the products, they are the gateways (vending machines) to their services. They have been for years (App Store, Music, iCloud, etcetera) and this will even become more so in the future (News, Arcade, etcetera).
    And it’s logical because at this day and age that’s where the true scale is at. You can’t say “you aren’t the product, our hardware is” if it’s clear that intelligent, ML/AI/content services are  their bread and butter. That’s just a lie, even if you take care of their privacy better.

    Secondly, Apple has been proven to drop their Privacy mantra when Russia or China asks for full control over where data is stored or/and accessed by the government. Suddenly, when revenue and profits come into play, the privacy of their users doesn’t seem to matter that much? I understand when people blame Apple of being hypocrites there.

    I truly like Apple in how they battle privacy, but Cook should stop saying this. We aren’t a bunch of morons.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    A relative of my spouse was asking for help limiting what her teenage son could do. I told her to look at Screen Time. That didn’t work for her. It turned out she wanted to be able to see what “snaps” he was sending and receiving so she could monitor that. 

    On one hand that seems invasive. On the other hand, my friends and I didn’t do such a thing when we were young but that’s likely because there wasn’t an easy way to do it like there is today. Maybe that sort of monitoring deserves some attention. 
    Snapchat keeps evolving and I’m not up on how it works these days, but the whole point is (or was) that snaps are ephemeral. That’s why the kids use it. I don’t think the apps that got pulled from the store would help her. Screen Time as it stands only allows her to remove Snapchat altogether or limit the amount of time her son can use it.

    Even if he were to give her access to his account, I’m not sure if there is any way to see a history showing the content of snaps sent or received — again, that’s the point.
    edited May 5
  • Reply 19 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    I truly like Apple in how they battle privacy, but Cook should stop saying this. We aren’t a bunch of morons.

    You are basically right. Apple may be positioning itself as the tech guardian of privacy but the general public probably doesn’t believe it. Why? Because we are treated almost daily to reports of some company being hacked, Google or Facebook getting caught doing something and then starting their dog and pony show to deflect it. The news media pounds away at the subject constantly. Apple’s claim that it works hard to protect its customer’s privacy is an invitation to clickbait that challenges it. Articles abound with similar headlines that state, “Apple IS watching you.” Finally, the public tends to lump all tech companies into the same basket. They ALL are watching us is the groupthink.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,655member
    A relative of my spouse was asking for help limiting what her teenage son could do. I told her to look at Screen Time. That didn’t work for her. It turned out she wanted to be able to see what “snaps” he was sending and receiving so she could monitor that. 

    On one hand that seems invasive. On the other hand, my friends and I didn’t do such a thing when we were young but that’s likely because there wasn’t an easy way to do it like there is today. Maybe that sort of monitoring deserves some attention. 
    That’s because when we were kids, there was no tech to keep tabs on us.  The closest would be us being on the hardline telephone in our parents’ house and hoping they weren’t lifting up the receiver in the other room and eavesdropping on our calls..

    As much as I love my iPhone, thank god I had a childhood without technology.  I would have gotten into so much trouble.  It really was a blessing.  It’s hard to be a parent today, and a child with all this non-stop social media.
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