Addicted to your iPhone or iPad? Can’t stop checking and rechecking Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any of the gazillion never-ending feeds on your iOS device? Well, the good (or perhaps bad) news is that you can now set daily limits for each app via iOS 12. This means that your iPhone or iPad will remind you that you’ve used X app for two hours (or any other limit you set) per day and maybe it’s time to put the device down and return to the real world for a change. This feature is called Screen Time and it’s fairly easy to use.
Screen Time shows some detailed graphs on your iPhone or iPad usage. Go to Settings > Screen Time and tap the big time text at the top. This will show you how much you’ve used your phone over the past day or week, and which apps have occupied most of your time. It also shows how many notifications you’ve received and which apps have sent the most, along with how many times you picked up your device.
If you have multiple iOS 12 devices, you can enable the Share Across Devices option to enable Screen Time on any iOS device signed in to iCloud and to see consolidated reports across all devices.
This information is very useful if you are looking to reduce how much you use your iOS device, so follow these steps to effectively limit the time you spend on your iPhone or iPad.
Follow these steps to set limits on app usage on iOS 12:
Once you hit your app usage limit, the entire screen will turn white with a big black hourglass icon on screen, along with the text "Time Limit". You can override this by tapping the Ignore Limit button and then either tapping Remind me in 15 minutes or Ignore for Today. This is normally possible without any additional input, unless you choose to set a passcode to limit screen time (process described below).
There’s also a way to limit usage of all apps for a certain amount of time. If you have a habit of using social media apps way past bedtime, for example, you can set these time limits for a gentle nudge towards keeping the phone down. Follow these steps to set downtime on iOS 12:
If you want to allow yourself to use some apps regardless of the limits you set, follow these steps.
If you are using Screen Time as a parent, you can easily set a Screen Time passcode for your kids. How Screen Time works is, when you hit the time limit, it shows you two options — ignore the limit for today or remind you again in 15 minutes. If you set a Screen Time passcode, these extensions cannot be activated without entering the passcode. This is a reasonably effective parental control feature. Here’s how to enable it.
This will ensure your kids using this device cannot request for an extension without entering the passcode.
Screen Time's Content & Privacy Restrictions also allow you to enable/ disable location services, microphone, Bluetooth, mobile data changes, and much more on this device, and have these settings locked for anyone using the device.
If you have kids as part of your iCloud family, you can also remotely manage and view Screen Time on their iOS device. This means you can get reports of their usage and set restrictions on their usage of certain kinds of apps (or overall restrictions like limiting use between certain hours) remotely from your iOS device itself.
If you have a kid as part of your iCloud Family, you will see them listed under Family in Screen Time under Settings. Tap the name of the kid, and manage their Screen Time settings.
Follow these steps to get rid of app usage limits on iOS 12.
For more tutorials, visit our How To Section.
Will Apple ever launch reasonably priced iPhones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.