Apple’s iOS 17 Introduces Screen Distance Feature to Reduce Eye Strain

Apple made an exciting announcement at the WWDC 2023 event held in early June, unveiling the highly anticipated iOS 17. While this new update doesn’t bring groundbreaking changes, it focuses on enhancing the overall user experience with several noteworthy features. Among them, the Screen Distance feature stands out as an underrated gem that aims to address a common concern among iPhone and iPad users – eye strain caused by holding the device too close to their eyes.

Apple's iOS 17 Introduces Screen Distance Feature

Screen Distance Feature in iOS 17: Promoting Healthier Device Usage

The Screen Distance feature, integrated into iOS 17, forms part of Apple’s commitment to prioritizing user health. Prolonged usage of screens held at a distance of less than 12 inches has been linked to the development of myopia or near-sightedness. With this in mind, Apple introduces Screen Distance to prompt users to maintain a safe distance when interacting with their devices.

Leveraging the advanced TrueDepth camera system, also known as Face ID, present in iPhones and iPads, the Screen Distance feature measures the distance between the user’s eyes and the device’s screen. It’s important to note that the camera only functions for distance measurement purposes and does not capture any photos or videos throughout the day. Apple has confirmed that the Screen Distance feature is compatible with iPad Pro models from the 3rd generation onwards (12.9-inch and 11-inch) that come equipped with the TrueDepth camera system. Additionally, all supported iPhones running iOS 17 will include this feature.

How to Enabling the Screen Distance Feature on iPhone & iPad

Now, let’s delve into the process of enabling the Screen Distance feature on your iPhone or iPad. Keep in mind that this feature is exclusive to iOS 17, so you’ll need to install the iOS 17 developer beta version, which Apple now provides without requiring a developer account. Once you’ve successfully installed the iOS 17 Developer Beta, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device and scroll down to locate the Screen Time menu.
  2. Within the Screen Time menu, you’ll find the Screen Distance option. Tap on it to proceed.
  3. A welcome screen introducing the Screen Distance feature will appear. Tap on “Continue” to proceed.
  4. On the subsequent page, tap on “Turn On Screen Distance,” and you’ll notice the “Screen Distance” toggle switch activate.
  5. With the Screen Distance feature enabled, whenever you hold your iPhone or iPad too close for extended periods, iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 will promptly notify you. This helpful feature ensures that you maintain a safe distance, reducing the risk of eye strain. To get a visual glimpse of how it works, refer to the accompanying image.

In conclusion, Apple’s iOS 17 introduces a range of features aimed at improving the user experience, with a particular emphasis on health-related enhancements. The Screen Distance feature addresses the issue of eye strain caused by holding iPhones and iPads too close to the eyes, promoting healthier device usage. By leveraging the TrueDepth camera system, iOS 17 measures the distance between the user’s eyes and the screen, offering timely notifications to encourage maintaining a safe distance. With iOS 17, Apple continues to prioritize user well-being, ensuring a more enjoyable and healthier digital experience.

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