Your iPhone will alert if you if you're holding your device too close

Give your eyes a break! Your iPhone will soon alert if you if you’re holding your device too close to your face

  • Apple is launching a new tool in its upcoming iOS 17 update for iPhones
  • It will monitor where your iPhone is and alert you if it’s too close to your face

Whether it’s scrolling through TikTok or playing Candy Crush, many of us are so obsessed with our phones that we feel lost without them in our hands.

But this obsession could be taking its toll on our eyes, with studies showing that prolonged screen time can increase the risk of myopia (short-sightedness). 

To help combat this issue, Apple is launching a new tool in its upcoming iOS 17 update for iPhones. 

The tool, called Screen Distance, will monitor where your iPhone is in relation to your face, and alert you if it’s too close. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the new feature, including how you can enable it on your device. 

Apple is launching a new tool in its upcoming iOS 17 update called Screen Distance, which will monitor where your iPhone is in relation to your face, and alert you if it’s too close

READ MORE: About ducking time! Apple’s autocorrect feature is getting a HUGE upgrade in iOS 17 

The new feature was announced earlier this month at Apple’s WWDC 2023 event in Cupertino, California.   

‘Increasing the distance the device is viewed from can help children lower their risk of myopia and gives adult users the opportunity to reduce digital eyestrain,’ Apple explained. 

The new tool will make use of the TrueDepth camera, which works by projecting thousands of invisible dots onto your face and analysing them to create a depth map of your face.

‘Screen Distance in Screen Time uses the TrueDepth camera to encourage users to move their device farther away after holding it closer than 12 inches from their face for an extended period of timem,’ Apple said. 

Unfortunately, the feature isn’t available quite yet, but will come with the iOS 17 update, which is expected to launch in September. 

When it does launch, you can enable the new feature by opening the Settings app, and then Screen Time

When it does launch, you can enable it by opening the Settings app, and then Screen Time. 

Under the ‘Limit Usage’ section, tap Screen Distance. 

Your iPhone will explain the feature, before allowing you to tap ‘Continue’ and ‘Turn on Screen Distance.’

Because the feature uses the TrueDepth camera, it will only be available on iPhone XS and newer models.  

Screen Distance isn’t the only new feature to look forward to in iOS 17. 

Other exciting features include an improved autocorrect system that can learn your favourite swear words, voice note transcription, and a feature that will let your family know when you arrive at a destination safely.  


1976: Founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne created the company on April 1 1976 as they set about selling computer kits to hobbyists, each of which was built by Wozniak.

The first product was the Apple I. 

1977: Apple released the Apple II in June, which was the first PC made for the mass market. 

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation’s new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

1981: Jobs became chairman.  

1984: The Macintosh was introduced during an ad break for the Super Bowl and later officially unveiled during a launch event. It was discontinued a year later and Jobs left the firm.

1987: Apple released the Macintosh II, the first colour Mac.

1997: Apple announces it will acquire NeXT software in a $400 million deal that involves Jobs returning to Apple as interim CEO. He officially took the role in 2000.  

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

2001: Apple introduced iTunes, OS X and the first-generation iPod.

The first iPod MP3 music player was released on October 23, 2001, at an event in Cupertino and was able to hold up to 1,000 songs.

2007: Apple unveils the iPhone. 

2010: The first iPad was unveiled.

2011: Jobs resigned in 2011 due to illness, handing the CEO title to Tim Cook. Jobs died in October from pancreatic cancer.

2014: Apple unveiled the Apple Watch. It also unveiled its first larger iPhones – the 6 and 6 Plus. 

2015: After purchasing Beats from Dr Dre, Apple launched Apple Music to compete with Spotify and other music streaming services. 

2016: Apple returned to its roots and announced the 4-inch iPhone SE. Meanwhile, the firm is embroiled in a legal battle with the FBI, involving the agency demanding access to the locked phone used by Syed Farook, who died in a shootout after carrying out a deadly December attack in San Bernardino, California with his wife. The court order was dropped on March 28 after the FBI said a third party was able to unlock the device.  

2017: Apple introduces the iPhone X, which removes the home button to make way for a futuristic edge-to-edge screen design and a new FaceID system that uses advanced sensors and lasers to unlock phones with just the owner’s face.    

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

2018: In a first for the company, Apple introduces new features in its latest operating system, iOS 12, that encourage users to manage and spend less time on their devices. The move was spawned by a strongly worded letter from shareholders that urged the firm to address the growing problem of smartphone addiction among kids and teenagers. 

2019: In January, Apple reports its first decline in revenues and profits in a decade. CEO Tim Cook partly blamed steep declines in revenue from China.

2020: In March, Apple closes all its bricks and mortar retail stores outside of China in response to coronavirus. 

2021: In an online virtual event in April CEO Tim Cook declared Apple’s goal of becoming carbon neutral for Earth Day. Later in the year the iPhone 13 was announced. 

2022: In September the iPhone 14 was announced. One of the new features included a new sensor to detect if a user had been in a car crash as well as an improved camera system. 

2023: So far this year Apple has brought back its ‘Home Pod’ after the first generation was discontinued. The ‘Home Pod’ can be seen as an alternative to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home as it is powered by voice commands. 

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