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iOS 13.3.1 beta is out and should fix pesky Screen Time glitch

iPhone XS running iOS 13
(Image credit: Tom's Guide | Future)

Hot on the heels of iOS 13.3's release last week, Apple has distributed a public beta for iOS 13.3.1 that is expected to fix a bug affecting Communication Limits in Screen Time.

Ideally, Communication Limits should let parents prevent calls and texts on their kids' iPhones during predetermined times, except for specific contacts that have been whitelisted. However, it was quickly discovered that if a number isn't already present in a child's contacts, iOS 13 will offer the option to add it, which in turn bypasses the restriction. Once the child stores the contact, they can communicate freely with that individual as if the limit was never imposed in the first place.

Apple first responded to news of the glitch late last week, as 9to5Mac notes, stating that it only occurs on devices "set up with a non-standard configuration." Apparently, if an iPhone is set to sync contacts with iCloud, Communication Limits work as intended.

Still, the company committed to issuing a fix "in an upcoming software update," which seems to be imminent now. While the 13.3.1 release notes don't list the contents of the update at all, there's a strong likelihood the Screen Time patch is part of it. Given the short turnaround since 13.3 came out, we wouldn't be surprised if that's the only change.

iOS 13.3 introduced a few more additions besides just Communication Limits, including revised presentations for some Apple News+ publishers and support for physical security keys in Safari. The iPadOS 13.3.1 developer beta was also issued in tandem with this public beta for iPhones.

As always, you can download and install either beta now from the Apple Beta Software Program website, though we recommend you think twice before doing so. Incomplete software can make your device unstable, and chances are this fix will be finalized and pushed out to all users in the coming days anyway.