If you’re like lots of people, you probably spend over our limits time looking at your iPhone or iPad. If you have downtime, you look at your phone; maybe you have new notifications, maybe there’s some new email. If not, maybe just one more degree of Candy Crush Saga…

Apple has addressed this growing problem with the Screen Time feature in iOS 12 . It enables you to see just how much you utilize your device, the foundation reducing. Additionally, it enables you to set time limits for certain apps, and “downtime,” when you’re not allowed to apply your iPhone or iPad. Of course, you are able to override those limits; they’re not meant to be inviolable.

In this article, I’m going to let you know that to use Screen Time to diagnose your iPhone and iPad usage, how to understand its data, and the way to set limits. I’ll also show you the best way to set a restriction for your children they can’t override.

Getting Data

Start by visiting Settings > Screen Time, then Switch on Screen Time. This can inform your device to begin recording your activity. This is all private; none of this gets sent to Apple. However it does record some detailed activity that you ought to know about, if anyone else uses your device. It records each app you utilize, and each website you visit. Although it doesn’t display a summary of web pages, anyone will be able to begin to see the sites you've visited when they peruse your activity. It doesn't, however, display websites you visit in private browsing mode.

If you want Screen Time for you to combine data from all the devices signed to your iCloud account, toggle Share Access Devices.

Come to Screen Time following a full day or more, and you’ll see some data such as this:

As you can observe, it provides two tabs: Today and Last 7 Days. This screenshot shows All Devices, but if you tap Devices at the very top right, a menu displays enabling you to choose a specific device.

You see your total screen time, and below that, the most used apps and websites. If you tap categories, the thing is a breakdown by category:

Scroll down a little to see more data. First comes Pickups; how often you’ve acquired or woken your device:

Then the amount of notifications you’ve received on your device:

Understanding this Data

As often, some raw data can require interpretation. If Screen Time reports that you spent five hours playing Candy Crush Saga, that’s clear, but you need to separate out your personal using your devices from the that is required from your job. With my case, writing about iOS devices and Macs, I am constantly checking my device to obtain the precise name of the setting, to take a screenshot, or to walk through a procedure. As i perform most of my research on my small Mac, I often use my iPhone or iPad to look for information.

So the total screen time may be skewed because you have been messaging with colleagues, using Slack to organize meetings, using Evernote to record information and much more. The app usage section can help you sort out what you’ve done in your device. If you look by category, after that you can tap a category to see which apps it has. For example, here’s what I see in the Productivity category for the last 7 days:

While this includes a number of my Safari browsing, much of it is in other categories. Apple attempts to group websites based on their content, however this isn’t right for everyone. You may need to access a company website regularly and its website may not be categorized in Productivity.

I’m not trying to rationalize, but it’s vital that you understand that this data isn’t very finely tuned to each user’s activity. I admit I probably take more time reading Twitter than I ought to , and I have been spending a lot of time now returning and solving old Ny Times crossword puzzles. It’s interesting to see the length of time I’ve allocated to that . And that i sometimes watch videos in bed on my small iPad; so Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, the TV app, and also the BBC iPlayer all increase my screen time.

To see data about all the apps you’ve used and all sorts of websites you’ve visited, scroll down and tap Show More; tap it again until you see everything. You’ll find all the apps you’ve only used for a couple of seconds, and all the websites you’ve visited. Be aware that the entire here we are at Safari includes time for every website listed in this even though they are listed separately.

Pickups may be the quantity of times you pick your device. This is meant to show you that you might look at your iPhone or iPad all too often, as well as for some people, this is quite obvious. However, I have some smart lights within my house and use my iPhone to turn them on or off several times a day. I check the weather, I sometimes control an admirer within my office, or be a musician while using Music app or even the Remote app. So if I get my device to turn off a light, alter the volume, or check the temperature, that counts as one pickup.

Notifications would be the number of times apps on your device have notified you. This can be a very helpful portion of Screen Time since it allows you to see what interrupts or distracts you. If you tap an item under Notifications, you want to a screen where one can alter the way that app notifies you. You might understand that a specific app interrupts you also much; you are able to turn off notifications, or at best switch off sounds, or alter the style of notifications.

Setting Up Screen Here we are at Kids

Main article: iOS 13 Parental Controls and Restrictions: How you can Protect Your Kids

One from the valuable features of Screen Here we are at parents is to be able to see just how much their children use their devices, and set limits. On your child’s device, tap Use Screen Time Passcode on the main Screen Time screen. After that you can make changes to a quantity of items:

  • You can set periods of downtime during which the unit owner cannot use the device.
  • You can set time limits for app categories for example social networking, games, entertainment, etc. You may also add a time limit for a specific app by tapping it in the primary screen.
  • You can choose apps that you would like to always be allowed; for example, you probably want the Phone app to never be blocked, and perhaps Messages so you can keep active in your child.
  • In Content & Privacy Restrictions, you've got a number of changes you can make that features may be used on the device for example location services, contacts, photos, the microphone and more.

As you've seen above, Screen Time offers powerful tools for building a child’s iOS device. It’s worth noting it completely replaces the Restrictions settings that were in earlier versions of iOS, and also the addition of actionable data – the length of time a child continues to be utilizing their device – can help you better manage their use of an apple iphone or iPad.

How can one find out more?

Each week on the Intego Mac Podcast, we discuss the most recent Apple news, including security and privacy stories, as well as practical suggestions about getting the most from your Apple devices. Be sure to sign up for be sure you don't miss any episodes.

You'll also want to subscribe to our e-mail newsletter and keep a watch here on The Mac Security Blog for that latest Apple security and privacy news. And don’t forget to follow Intego on your favorite social and media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube .