Tim Cook said he had to take “a meat axe” to his iPhone notifications to cut back on screen time.
The Apple CEO discussed his iPhone usage during an interview on the “Outside Podcast” this week.
“I started asking myself, why do I need all these notifications? Why do I really need this? Do I really need to understand things in the moment that they’re happening?” Cook said.
Apple’s screen time feature, launched in 2018, tracks how much time users spend on their phones every day and on which applications.
Tim Cook said he had to cut down on his iPhone notifications after realizing how much screen time he was clocking every day.
The Apple CEO discussed screen time during an interview with Michael Roberts on the “Outside Podcast” this week. Cook didn’t reveal the exact number of hours he was spending on his iPhone every day, but said it was “very high.” The realization led him to make some changes to his settings, he said.
“My estimates versus the reality were very different,” Cook said. “I started asking myself, why do I need all these notifications? Why do I really need this? Do I really need to understand things in the moment that they’re happening?”
Cook said he decided to take “a meat axe” to the app notifications that were grabbing his attention in order to “free me up to do other things,” he said.
Apple debuted its screen time feature in 2018 as part of its new iPhone operating system, iOS 12. The tool allows users to track how much time they’re spending on their phone every day and on which apps. Users are able to set limits on how much they’re using their phone, reduce notifications, and schedule a “downtime” when the phone can’t be used.
For parents, there are parental control features that allow for setting time limits on apps and blocking certain sites (though many teens have figured out ways around these limits).
Cook said on the podcast that Apple’s goal is not to have its users spend more time using its devices and that its business model isn’t set up to profit off people clicking around on their phones.
“We do not want people using our products too much,” Cook said. “We want to create them in such a way people get the most out of them in short periods of time to free themselves up to do whatever it is that they want to do.”
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