Apple’s Update is Here to Help Us Manage Our Screen Time

Apple’s new update has tools for managing your screen time and will let you see how often you pick up your phone or how long you’re on apps at work. Are you into this?

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Apple and Google are continuing their mission to help us be better at time management. Not that everyone needs the help, but thanks to the new iOS 12 software update, we can control how we spend our time on our devices. Technology is so alluring that it is often hard to resist, but Apple is working to try and help.

The new update launched their new tools on iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch to help manage our screen time, and yes it can work across all your devices if you enabled that option. Apple’s tools will let you see how often you pick up your phone and how much time you spend on each app.  The new tools don’t just allow you to monitor yourself, but your children too, and we know most kids need it. As adults it is hard to stay off our phones, so not surprising to know that kids feel the same way.

Let’s break down the new features.

Managing Your Kids
You can access Apple’s new controls to manage your kids’ time by using their device or through your own device, using Apple’s “Family Sharing.” You will need to set a passcode specifically for Screen Time, so make sure it is different from your phones passcode, in case your kids already know that one. Setting up is easy and once you complete that, you can use your iPhone to monitor your children’s use. You will no longer have to grab their phone to check what they are up to. You can see what websites and apps they are using and how frequent. You can set restrictions, such as restricting a certain group of apps, or establishing a quiet time for when most apps will shut down.

It’s bed time! You will no longer have to worry about your kid staying up on their device long after you called bed time. A new “Screen Time” feature lets you establish limits for categories of apps, such as entertainment or games. You can set limits differently on weekends if you choose. You can also set limits app by app, or for a specific website, but according to the NY Post, it can be quite tricky. “From the Screen Time settings, tap the chart at the top to get a list of apps and websites. Tap on an app or site and look for “Add Limit” at the bottom,” The NY Post explains.

What happens when apps run out of time? The icons will go dark and apps won’t be able to send notifications. You can exempt apps or things you find useful from the down time limits, such as e-books, homework site, messaging or phone service in case of an emergency.

The famous “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” saying is going digital. Kids can bug you and ask you for more time with a few taps. You can simply decline the request once and they won’t be able to ask again. Unless they get clever and just reopen the app, then they can ask again.

If you have the old parental controls on for blocking R-rated movies, adult websites and podcasts with explicit language, you will need to add the them again with the new update. Those controls are now part of Screen Time, which you will have to add manually.

There are no default limits, so you will have to determine what kind of limits you want to set.  With the use of technology, it is great to have the option to be able to monitor your child’s activities. 

Managing Yourself
To manage your own time like your kids, you can set the same limits, but it will take some serious self-discipline. You can tap for extra time when your time is up. It’s a great feature if you lose sleep because you can’t put your phone down.

Google has similar controls, called Digital Wellbeing, but are intended for adults because there are not passcodes, which limit how useful they can be for kids. This feature is currently only available on the company’s own Pixel phones, although Google plans to make it more broadly available in a forthcoming Android update called Pie, according to the NY Post.

Adjust Your Screen
Another Android feature called “Grayscale,” lets you turn everything monochrome, rendering apps— and even the entire phone to some extent. This makes it less appealing, which might make it easier to put the phone down. Apple has a similar setting, although it’s buried in the Accessibility settings for disabled users, as reported.

Google and Apple features also let you turn your screen amber during designated times to reduce blue light, which may help you get a better night’s sleep, according to NY Post.

Ultimately, enabling these tools is up to you. You even have the option to disable them and enable when you decide. Not everyone needs the help, but it’s nice to have the option. It can also be fun to see how much time you spend on your phone and what apps, or website you are using most. If you don’t care to monitor your use, the new tools may not be a great idea, seeing as they can get annoying. Although, it can be fun to try it if you haven’t already. Do you have it enabled? Read the full story from the NY Post here.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Apple’s new update has tools for managing your screen time and will let you see how often you pick up your phone or how long you’re on apps at work. Are you into this?

32% Y – I wanna know!
68% N – out of sight…
35% Y – I wanna know!
65% N – out of sight…
25% Y – I wanna know!
75% N – out of sight…

Y – I wanna know!

N – out of sight…

Apple’s Update is Here to Help Us Manage Our Screen Time

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