Seeking feedback on Apple petition: allow digital wellness developers to make useful tools.


#1

Several humane tech entrepreneurs have come together to petition Apple in advance of WWDC. On the heals of Google Wellbeing, we ask that Apple commit to opening its SDK to developers to allow us to make the changes to the iOS interface and user experience that consumers are demanding. We feel this is an important story that hasn’t been shared.

Draft below. Thoughts on the structure? Examples? Title?

PM me if this petition is relevant to your organization and you would like to be added as a signatory! We will hyperlink your name and ask that you share the petition with your audience.

(body)
Research shows that problematic smartphone use can negatively impact mental and physical health. Earlier this month, Google announced a suite of tools to help people achieve balance in their digital lives, citing that 70% of users wanted help with their digital wellbeing. We can assume that the majority of iPhone owners also need support to manage their smartphone habits, but as yet there are limited tools available to them.

Unfortunately, as digital wellness developers, we are restricted in our ability to help the iOS user base, due to the nature of Apple’s operating systems. We have millions of iPhone supporters waiting for us to make our innovative tools available to them, but all we can do is offer unsatisfactory products, or encourage them to switch to Android.

Some of the tools we have been able to offer for users of our Android products include:

  • Replacement home screens. Give the users opportunity to take control of their home screens by decluttering and dimming.
  • Phone usage monitoring (without using geo-services). Provide users with a view of their phone habits without developers having to track their location, which is unnecessarily invasive and wearing on battery.
  • App usage insights. Provide users with insights about which apps are really consuming their time.
  • SMS autoresponder / Auto-set DND / Batching notifications. Provide users with tools to control how and when they receive communication and notifications.
  • Time slots and geofencing. Provide users with tools to limit access in certain locations, for example, for our children at school.
  • Screen covers. Allow insightful and useful interruptions to nudge users towards healthier behaviors.
  • The list goes on….

Meanwhile, iPhone users are hashing solutions to make their phones less distracting. The leading solution so far appears to be a manual, 12-step, back-door, unintelligent “grayscale” trick.

We ask that Apple commit to opening its SDK to developers to allow us to make the changes to the iOS interface and user experience that consumers are demanding.

In order to prevent potential abuses of greater access to APIs and permissions, we anticipate and welcome a strict approval process so that well-intended developers can demonstrate how their products will improve the wellbeing of iOS users.

By honoring this request, Apple will unleash a wave of innovation and network effects from a passionate developer community, reinforcing Apple’s brand as a leader in technology for human flourishing. More importantly, it will provide hundreds of millions of iPhone owners of all ages with access to tools to help them lower stress, maintain focus and allow them to have more time for human connection.

We are looking forward to this year’s WWDC and hope you will consider our request.

With gratitude,

Siempo
Lilspace
Space
Flipd
Affect Mental Health
Catherine Price
HAPPI
Bagby
Digital Detangler
(several pending)


#2

Why not ask Apple to have a digital wellbeing team of its own, and start to design more ethical products themselves? That way developers wouldn’t have so much work to do if the system was actually better from the start.

Some suggestions for Apple to improve would be greater privacy, and automatically not allowing any notifications at all by default. People pay for Apple products, so I don’t see how that would hurt their sales. Rather it could help them sell even more phones if they were the ethical choice.

In the name of privacy, I don’t think I would want any wellbeing app to be able to know what I am doing or what programs I’m using. That is a direct violation of privacy.

I also think that if Apple allowed things like screen covers, these distractions would be more often be used to try to gain people’s attention than for humane reasons.

I think your home screen replacement idea would be very nice and could be very useful.


#3

Hot off the presses! Please consider signing and sharing this petition to pressure Apple to let developers offer humane tools!


#4

Signed, sealed, and delivered! :slight_smile:


#5

I think very smart the tools you offer , and find several points of contact with the “Keys for putting in practice the 10 principle or humane technology that I posted”, and that’s good.
This passionately community is developing great ideas , and this ideas are creating synergic energy.

So, focused on the tools youu proposed , I find:,

You said
“Phone usage monitoring (without using geo-services). Provide users with a view of their phone habits without developers having to track their location, which is unnecessarily invasive and wearing on battery” I agree and posted in the Keys".No more space localization by default"

You said
“App usage insights. Provide users with insights about which apps are really consuming their time”
I posted
“Every dispositive must include by default software to test periodically self-esteem, tech-addiction and emotional health”.

You said
“SMS autoresponder / Auto-set DND / Batching notifications. Provide users with tools to control how and when they receive communication and notifications”
I posted
Automatically classification of enter messages by user configuration crossing contacts and subjects preferred to gives priority of reply.

And I want to add to this list
Create a stand-by bottom when reply must be shared in privacy before answer or simply to give a personal time of analysis.

It will be wonderful if your team can develop this tools

In the same path I want to share this principles to create a cultural awakening

1- How to avoid risks in privacy information
2- How to protect and strengthen your self-esteem
3- How to prevent tech-addiction
4- How to obtain a strong emotional health
5- How to prevent unnecessary erosion in relationships

All smart design of tools in this direction I think that will work very strong in the changes we’re looking for
Cheers


#6

The message is getting amplified! Let’s make some noise around WWDC.


#7

Wow! Over 900 people have signed your petition so far, @andrewmurraydunn. What happens next?


#8

It’s incredible the great expanding Big Bang CHT is generating
Reading petition to Apple, I also wonder

What happens next?

Are we going to be -in the not far away future- this public pressure movement? (Really successful to this point)
Or are there new challenges for CHT?

Yesterday @psharbaugh posted in the topic Ideas for: 10 principles of humane technology and
he noticed -in relation with the Ethical Design Manifesto produced by Swedish-based design group- what he considered:

My question at this point is:

  1. Are we in -next steps- will formally be offering ideas to designers and tech companies?
  2. Or we will remind as a movement of awareness to this issues?

I consider , in my case , that what I humbly tried to write down all around this forum it belongs now no to me but to CHT , and I am proud of that , eventhough this ideas are not official ideas of CHT , they are at this moment, only drafts proposals of mine.

Now, the Big Bang is plenty of evolution, which will be CHT role from now and on ?

Please, excuse me if my question isn`t wise o prudent in time and space, but events are taking me quickly by surprise

May be an strategic issue probably not to be discuss here, but excuse me again I am not expecting your answer to me , but I really need share with you what events makes me wonder.
****_

Surelly that in Stage 1 or in Stage 2 I will happy aligned with CHT


#9

That`s my question too !!!


#10

@Mamie we’re exploring next steps! So far it has been inspiring to see almost every digital wellness developer come together with a common interest in seeing these changes made. It’s the first time many of us are talking to each other :slight_smile:


#11

@andrewmurraydunn
t
With this experience we can see appearing , not only trends ( cultural awakening) but the specific tools that people really needs.

I think it may be useful whith this experience and the others that will coming on , surely soon, …how can I express…a builiding of knowledge about the strongests trends we can see in human behavior to be able to be ahead one more step on tech design . What do you think ?