iOS 12 Screen Time Finally Gives the iPhone Real Parental Controls

Staff Writer
Updated

Are you finding it difficult to manage your use of certain apps on your phone? Or maybe you’re curious about how your children are using their phones? With the Screen Time app, iOS 12 provides a way to keep track of and limit app usage.

Screen Time will provide weekly reports on how long you use your apps and how many notifications each app sends each week. With this, you can decide how to manage your time between apps by setting customizable time limits as well as which notifications to mute.

Most importantly, all of the features are completely customizable for parents to manage their children’s screen time. Parents will receive weekly reports that are split into simple sections — Games, Entertainment, Social Networking and Other. It will inform you of the total combined usage time as well as where that ranks on the average use of the device.

Based on that information, parents can limit or restrict what kind of apps they are using with four management tools. App Limits will allow you to set time limits for specific apps, and while they can be ignored by a regular user, a managed phone will be reinforced. Always Allowed lets you enable certain apps that can always be used like Phone for calls or educational apps like Books, and Content & Privacy Restrictions lets you block any app of your choosing. There is also an option for Downtime, which is a scheduled time where the iOS cannot be used.

With iOS 12, you can also now manage notifications directly from the lock screen. Options will include turning notifications off completely or having them sent to the Notification Center. Siri will also suggest options such as delivering alerts quietly or turning it all off completely. What will help managing alerts all together is the added support for group notifications. These are categorized by thread and topic.

Additionally, if you’d like to clock out of your phone completely for bedtime, Apple has introduced an updated Do Not Disturb mode that will display a black screen with no notifications on your phone. This mode can take effect based on a customizable time or location, which can be managed through the control center.

Screen Time, as well as Do Not Disturb and Notifications features, will be available this fall with the launch of iOS 12.

Credit: Apple