The average time a person uses his/her mobile phone has drastically increased in recent times. With the kind of content available online, people are getting addicted to their phones. Over time this addiction might cause many health issues considering the amount of time we are spending on these electronic devices. Today’s generation of kids is glued to these smartphones from a very young age. This will affect their health, so we need to keep tabs on the usage of our phones. So to keep tabs and allow the time of iPhone usage can be monitored and limit using the screen time settings on your iPhone. You can see the phone usage for the last seven days also.
About Screen Time Settings
Screen Time is a feature introduced in the new IOS 12 devices that allows you to track mobile phone usage and application usage, this feature allows you to set a screen time limit and a password to protect those settings. This feature is available on IOS 12 and later devices. After opening the screen time settings for the first time you will be asked to set it up. Do that to start with the screen time settings.
Restricting the phone usage for children using the parental controls are great but Screen time provides numerous options when compared to the parental controls. Screen Time has password protection and scheduling the applications for your children from a single phone itself by adding those devices to the family section. You can set the parental control on social media and entertainment apps too, but screen time has the option of allowing or blocking the installation or deletion of the apps too.
Screen Time to limit iPhone usage
When we open the settings it shows the amount of time we have used our phone today. Based on our usage the iPhone segregates the usage of apps into three categories namely entertainment, social networking, and creativity. A bar graph is shown indicating the data, if we tap on the time, the graph shows the details of all the apps that you have been using all day long and displays the time too.
The graph also has time slots, if we tap on them it will show us the time intervals in which we have used those apps. We can break this down a little bit more if we scroll down, the apps are shown based on the time they are in use on the phone, from most used to the least used.
There will be an option “Show Categories” which will display which category apps you have been using the most like entertainment or social media etc. If we tap on the categories, we get the different details about them too.
Single App Usage: In case you want to monitor the screen time for a single app, just scroll down to that app and you can see all the details regarding that app from the daily average time to the notifications from that app.
Pickups: This will tell us about the phone call time and the time period in which you have received or used the phone for making calls. A graph indicates all these details.
Notifications: This is going to give us an idea of the notifications that we are receiving on our phones. It also shows the data regarding the apps which are receiving the most notifications.
The Screen Time settings have 4 features. They are
2. App Limits
3. Always Allowed
4. Content and Privacy Restrictions
Before actually using the screen time, we have to enable it to get started.
Enable the Screen Time to limit iPhone usage
Go to the settings-> Navigate to the Screen time-> Click on “Turn on Screen Time.” Read the information and tap on continue to agree to the instructions on the Screen Time screen. You will be questioned, whether the device is yours or your child’s. If the device is yours, tap on “This is My iPhone.”
Setting the Screen Time Password
The password will help in securing the Screen Time settings. If anyone wants to change, they need to do it using this password. Scroll down to “Use Screen Time Password” and set the password. Now the screen time starts monitoring the time you are spending on the apps, features, and the settings of your phone. A Screen Time Password recovery question pops up after setting the password. You can use your Apple ID password to reset it.
You can add other devices for the same settings by using the “Share Across Devices” feature. Enable the feature and add your iPad, Mac, or another iPhone. Along with this, you will need to enable two-factor authentication to share across the devices.
Set Downtime Hours
In downtime hours, you cannot use any apps on your phone. This feature allows you to block some apps and features for some time. To activate the downtime settings.
- Tap on the Downtime.
- Select the From time and then the To time to set the limits of the phone usage.
- Switch on the “Turn On Downtime Until Schedule.” This will activate the downtime immediately.
- You can either select the downtime hours for every day or you can customize the settings for different days of the week.
- If you want to block all applications during the downtime, switch on the “Block at Downtime.”
Set App and Website limits
This feature applies the screen time on specific apps.
- From the menu, select “App Limits.”
- Tap on “Add Limit” to select the individual apps or categories you want to set the screen time for. You can also choose “All Apps and Categories” to set the time limit on each and every app and category.
- Now choose the time you want to use the apps and then restrict form using and click on add at the top-right corner.
- We can also limit the usage of websites too using this feature.
- Click on the “Add Website” and add the URLs of the websites you want to restrict.
- After adding the screen time, we can also customize the days. We can have different screen times for different days too. Click on Add to finalize them.
Set Communication Limits
We can also monitor our phone call duration using this feature. Go to the communication limits and set communication limits for phone calls, text messages, facetime, and iCloud contacts. Give permission to those who can contact you during your screen time. There will be options for the “During Screen Time” and “During Downtime” and choose specific contacts who can get to you during your screen time and downtime hours.
You have the option of blocking everyone too. To select the specific contacts, tap on Add contacts from the menu and select the people who can call you in your screen time and downtime.
Allow Certain Apps
When you put your phone in downtime or they are exceeding the screen time limit, they will be blocked by the settings and are unable to open. But there will be some important applications like calling, messages, etc. They should never get blocked. So there is a way of doing it by allowing certain apps to escape the downtime and screen time.
- Click on the Allowed Applications.
- Tap on the Plus sign to add the apps to Allowed Apps.
- Tap on the minus sign to remove them from the allowed apps list.
Even when the phone is in downtime or the apps are in-app limited, the allowed apps will not be in a block state and are free to use at any given time.
Set Content and Privacy Settings
There will be certain personal content and privacy settings you want to keep to yourself or some content you do not want your children to see. These restrictions can also be put using the content and privacy restrictions.
Click on the content and privacy settings and all different kinds of content and privacy settings are shown on the screen. Select the content and privacy settings you want to restrict yourself from and turn on the switch next to the toggle to proceed through. Choose the kind of apps and content you want your kids to access using these settings. We can also choose the ratings of movies people can watch on the devices. Select the content and allow or block the same based on what you want.
iTunes and App Store purchases
There are cases in the past where children have bought some in-app purchases without the authority of their parents. To reduce or have control over such instances, we can also restrict the in-app purchases in the games on your iPhone.
All you have to do is go to the iTunes and App Store purchases and click on do not allow in-app purchases. We can also choose the same for installing or deleting the apps. Along with this, we can also make these things password-protected to make sure children never do any kind of mistakes.
Setting up Screen Time for Children
The main reason many people use the screen time settings is to keep tabs on the mobile usage of their children, since the boom of technology each and every household are having many electronic devices and children are getting addicted to them. So monitoring the usage of mobile phones for children is a must. To set limits on your child’s phone.
- Go to the Screen Time settings on your child’s phone.
- While setting up screen time, click on “This Is My Child’s Phone” and it will get added to the family section.
- Now we will be available with all the options like Downtime, App limits, Allowed Apps, and Content, and Privacy settings.
- Just as mentioned above on how to set up all these things, follow the instructions and choose the different categories and apps to limit them from your children.
- Keep a privacy password so that they cannot change those settings by themselves. You can modify every setting and feature just as mentioned above using the Screen Time feature.
We can also monitor the kinds of apps the child is using under the monitor app usage section. It displays all the details regarding the apps and categories the child is spending the most time on. A graph is shown to indicate the time usage.
Asking for more time
You have set a downtime and screen time for mobile use and app use respectively for your children, you will be notified of it before five minutes of the blocking. After the downtime is up and if you want to allow your child some more time, you can go to the screen time settings and enter the Screen Time password and give access for additional time usage. The same can be done for the app limit a message will pop up asking for more time, enter the screen time password, and allow the time your child can have the access to the app.
In this way, we can limit our phone usage and is a very useful feature if you are worried about the phone usage of your child. You can modify any of these settings using the screen time password. For more iPhone tips and tricks, search BasicKnowledgeHub.