Keep your gadget use under control
Are you really aware of how much time you spend picking up your iphone to check on things throughout each day? A few minutes here and there soon adds up, and because you may be disinclined to log your iPhone and iPad use manually, Screen Time can do it for you.
This new feature enables those same devices to play a part in keeping gadget guilt in check. You can use it to: gain insights about your behaviour; impose a soft limit that nudges you in the right direction when a daily quota runs out; and set a hardcore lockout that stops activity till a passcode is entered. Got a real gadget addiction? Get a friend to look after the code and act as your conscience.
This feature can also be applied to other members of your Family Sharing group (bit.ly/mffmshr) to help your kids develop healthier habits.
What about the Mac?
Screen Time isn’t available on the Mac, even in macOS Mojave. You’ll need willpower to avoid skimming unlogged minutes. If you can’t wait to see whether Apple adds it in future, try the Productivity edition of Timing (£39, timingapp.com).
1 Get started
Go to Settings > Screen Time (second group down) and turn on the feature. You’ll be asked whether the device you’re setting up is yours or your child’s. We’ve written this advice as if setting up your own device, but you can apply the same methods, with different settings, to each family member by tapping their names beneath the Family heading on this page.
3 Collate your data
To get the big picture of usage across all iPhones and iPads that are signed in to your iCloud account, turn on Share Across Devices, lower down. The page then summarises data from all your enrolled iOS devices. You’re still able to take a look at your use of individual devices, though: start by tapping All Devices in the top group.
2 A simple overview
The top box shows how much of today you’ve spent using all your iOS 12 devices, and breaks this down into major categories and how long you’ve spent on each. You may not care if it’s productivity apps that you spend significant time using, but have a different view if you discover you’re spending a lot of time on social networking or games.
4 Finer details
Initially the next page shows data from all devices on which you’ve turned on Screen Time, but only today’s. Use the tabs at the top to see average daily usage and a total for the last week – the latter may encourage you to limit your activity. Rest a finger on a bar in the chart for info on that time period. Tap Devices to pick a single device whose data you want to see.