Apple combats iPhone throttling backlash with new iOS 12 features

Apple faced a backlash late last year when it emerged that the company slowed down some older iPhones with flagging batteries

Tim Cook - CEO, Apple

Tim Cook - CEO, Apple

Apple has unveiled software upgrades that would let older iPhones run faster, help parents limit their children's screen time and make its Siri voice assistant work more like a rival feature from Amazon.com.

Taken together, the moves announced at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose amounted to focusing on keeping its base of 1.3 billion users satisfied with their devices and catching up with some competitors.

Apple shares closed up 0.8 per cent at US$191.83 after the news, and rose to US$192.40 in extended trading.

Apple faced a backlash late last year when it emerged that the company slowed down some older iPhones with flagging batteries. The latest version of Apple's operating system for the iPhone and iPad, iOS 12, will make older devices, such as the iPhone 6, work better.

Software chief Craig Federighi said iOS 12 could carry out simple tasks, such as opening apps, up to twice as fast as its predecessor, iOS 11. The new system will work on a range of products that date back to 2013.

The company will also allow broader use of in-app voice controls, which it had limited to a handful of apps, such as PayPal and Uber. Amazon, by contrast, was much more open to controlling apps with its Alexa assistant.

Additionally, Apple rolled out group video chat sessions with up to 32 users, putting it in direct competition with companies such as Cisco Systems and Microsoft’s Skype.

In response to criticism that Apple contributed to computer overuse by children, iPhone and iPad users will now be able to limit the time children spend in apps, as well as which apps they can use.

"Some apps demand more of our attention than we might realise," Federighi said.

The parent control system sits atop a broader system that adults, too, can use to monitor and limit their screen time.

Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, said the flexibility of Apple's system set it apart from others designed only for parental monitoring, offering the ability for teens and adults to impose their own limits.

"It's a clear admission from Apple: 'Our installed base is so big, and no two users are the same, so we're not going to tell you what works for you,'" she said.

New features help protect users' anonymity online. The company said its Safari web browser for both Macs and iPhones will keep users from being tracked without their permission by websites that use "like" or "share" buttons from social media companies.

Apple unveiled new steps to make it hard for advertisers to distinguish among users, building on its effort, begun last year, to prevent such tracking.

Apple also rolled out new tools for augmented reality, saying users would be able to share worlds in games, for instance. LEGO, the maker of interlocking toy blocks, showed off an app in which two players using iPads could put out a virtual fire blazing on a physical house made of LEGOs.

Federighi said Apple had been working on a "multi-year" effort to make it easier to move iPhone and iPad apps onto Mac computers, a significant change because Apple's iOS is often a top destination for developers, who frequently choose Android phones as the second platform.

Federighi said the tools will come out next year.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Jose; Additional reporting by Sonam Rai and Pushkala Aripaka in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Henderson, Richard Chang and Bill Berkrot)

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleiPhoneiOS 11iOS 12

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Reuters

Reuters

ARN
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?