BOSTON (CBS) – “If they’re picking up their phone ten times an hour or 20 times an hour, maybe they could do it less,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview with CNN on the day his company rolled out new features designed to help users kick their iPhone and iPad addictions.
The additions will help you “get deep insight on how much time you’re spending, where you’re spending it, and even how your use breaks down during the day,” says a company official.READ MORE: Boston Store Owners, Vendors Cash In On Small Business Saturday
Sounds good. But is it any more than Apple reacting to negative publicity about the toxic effects of their highly-addictive products the same way other tech titans like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have – by insisting they’re not part of the problem they created, but the solution?
Apple’s ideas for helping you limit the excessive time so many of us spend using their mesmerizing products are nothing they couldn’t have rolled out years ago, of course, but the heat wasn’t on back then. And some of Cook’s spin in that CNN chat was eyebrow-raising.READ MORE: Patriots Plane Flies UNH Men's Soccer Team To NCAA Tournament Game In Oregon
“I think the power is now shifted to the user, and that has been what Apple has always been about,” he said.
Actually, that’s never been true. Steve Jobs himself once said: “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” Facebook pioneer Sean Parker has admitted the social media site was designed to exploit human psychology to get users hooked.
“I think the privacy thing has gotten totally out of control,” Cook also told CNN, a nod to the uproar over privacy invasion that has soiled big tech’s once-pristine public image and invited the government regulation they desperately want to avoid.MORE NEWS: BC Falls To #18 Wake Forest 41-10 In Regular Season Finale
No wonder they’re eager to put a spin on the other damage their lucrative-but-addictive products can do.