Screen Time

Keep your gad­get use un­der con­trol

Mac Format - - FEATURE / IOS 12 SUPERGUIDE -

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.

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