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.