Google and Apple both made their fortunes and gained global dominance by gluing us to our phones, yet now they plan to reverse that
Back in May, Google said that it plans to give its entire suite of products a makeover to help people leave aside their phones for a little longer.
“Great technology should improve life, not distract from it,” Google said in its announcement
The new Android P software will introduce dashboards that will provide daily insight into how much time we spend on the phone, as well as broken down data by specific apps. Moreover, it will allow us to set limits on how much time we spend on a given app before the screen goes greyscale. Youtube (owned by Google) will soon introduce custom breathers that will allow users to schedule various intervals to remind them how long they’ve been watching.
Moreover, Apple announced that iOS 12 will feature a “Screen Time” feature that will provide similar tools. It will get data on usage and habits and on the ability to limit app usage.
On the other hand, even though both initiatives sound good and they could help consumers take back a part of their time, experts in the field note that these are the same companies that spent decades drawing our attention and keeping us on the phone.
To get a glimpse of addictive design, simply login into Twitter and notice the short delay in your feed. Even though a user’s feed could have loaded automatically, it’s not. The iconic bird logo flutters as you wait for the timeline to load.
Most people don’t even consciously register this short delay, while others might blame it on connectivity issues. However, user experience designers say that the delay is actually designed on purpose as for many users the delay subconsciously creates a sense of anticipation. It is similar to a slot machine that intentionally runs through a series of possible combinations before delivering the final result.