Screen Time Updates in iOS 13

Apple’s Screen Time fea­ture was intro­duced in iOS 12 and pro­vides prop­er parental con­trols to man­age kids’ iOS devices. You can see our full step-by-step guide to set­ting up Screen Time here. Screen Time also pro­vides par­ents with met­rics on how much time their kids spend on their phones and tablets, the time of the day when they’re the most active on said devices, and which apps they use the most. With iOS 13’s release in Fall 2019, there have been addi­tion­al updates to Screen Time to help make the iOS parental con­trol expe­ri­ence even more robust.

Usage Data

Screen Time usage data allows par­ents and care­givers to ana­lyze data on how long kids are using their devices dur­ing the course of the week, and at what times of the day. It also lets you view the apps and the cat­e­gories of apps they use the most, such as enter­tain­ment, games, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, etc. In iOS 13, usage data has been expand­ed to 30 days to allow com­par­i­son between the cur­rent week’s data and past weeks.

Combined App Limits

With the help of App Lim­its in Screen Time, spe­cif­ic apps or cat­e­gories of apps can be con­fig­ured with time lim­its, peri­ods of down time, etc. Par­ents can also cus­tomize, such as restrict­ing them to a spe­cif­ic amount of time they can spend on cer­tain apps on cer­tain days. You can also choose to put a lim­it on every­thing by choos­ing the All Apps & Cat­e­gories’ under the App Lim­its’ sec­tion. New in iOS 13, par­ents can now set a sin­gle lim­it across sev­er­al app cat­e­gories, apps or web­sites, pro­vid­ing much more gran­u­lar con­trol over a child’s screen time.

One More Minute

In iOS 13, kids can now tap One More Minute” once their allot­ted time restric­tions come into effect. This is a nice addi­tion in iOS 13, as pre­vi­ous­ly screen time would imme­di­ate­ly cut a user off with­out fur­ther warn­ing. One more minute allows a child one addi­tion­al minute to save a game, save their work or wrap up what­ev­er they’re cur­rent­ly doing on their device.

Communication Limits

iOS 13.3, which will be released late Fall or ear­ly Win­ter 2019, intro­duces a much antic­i­pat­ed fea­ture, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Lim­its. With Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Lim­its, par­ents can con­trol who their chil­dren are able to con­tact and com­mu­ni­cate with through­out the day and dur­ing down­time. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Lim­its apply to the Phone, Face­Time, and Mes­sages apps, along with iCloud con­tacts. Par­ents can also use Screen Time to man­age the con­tacts that appear on their children’s devices.

Summing Up

Being a par­ent in the dig­i­tal age is a tough busi­ness. Apple’s Screen Time in iOS 13 is a con­tin­ued evo­lu­tion of a much need­ed parental con­trol fea­ture set. That said, no set of parental con­trols are per­fect and shouldn’t be a replace­ment for being involved in your child’s life, both online and off.