Put down that phone

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - MONEY & MARKETS EXTRA - By Anick Jes­da­nun

Ap­ple and Google want to help you spend less time on their phones.

With their new tools for man­ag­ing screen time, you can see how of­ten you picked up the phone af­ter bed­time, for in­stance.

Ap­ple's tools also let you con­trol how long your kids spend on de­vices. They are part of the free iOS 12 soft­ware up­date for mo­bile de­vices.

The “Down­time” fea­ture lets you block most apps dur­ing cer­tain hours. You can set time lim­its for spe­cific apps or web­sites, or cat­e­gories of apps, such as games. When an app is out of time, its icon will darken, and no­ti­fi­ca­tions won't come through.

You can ex­empt use­ful apps, such as e-books. Kids can ask for more time with a few taps. On your own de­vice, the con­trols re­quire self­dis­ci­pline, un­less some­one else sets a spe­cial pass­code for you and keeps it se­cret.

Google has a sim­i­lar fea­ture called Dig­i­tal Well­be­ing, but it's more suited for adults. There's cur­rently no pass­code op­tion. The fea­ture is be­ing tested on Google's Pixel-branded An­droid phones.

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