How to Use App Limits and Downtime in iOS 12

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Apr 12, 2001
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In iOS 12, Apple's digital health push includes a couple of special new features for iPhone and iPad users who want to cut down on their app usage: App Limits and Downtime. In this article, we'll show you how to use them.

App Limits allows you to set specific time limits on a particular app category (games, for example). When you've spent the designated time using the app category, iOS sends you an alert notifying you of the fact. Of course, you're free to ignore these alerts, but the idea behind them is that they'll help you manage your time better.


The second feature, Downtime, enables you to set a daily schedule for when you'd rather not use your iOS device at all. Once activated, the feature restricts device usage to phone calls and any apps you've specifically exempted from Downtime. Like App Limits, you can override these restrictions - they're more like good guidance than anything else, and can still help if you honestly want to self-regulate your mobile usage.


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Article Link: How to Use App Limits and Downtime in iOS 12
 
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mrklaw

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Jan 29, 2008
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would be good to know how this works with family sharing. Eg can kids be set up so they can't ignore the limits? If they hit a limit can they request an extension from the parent?
 
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aardwolf

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May 30, 2007
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They were SO close to having something that works for kids. As it works now, the kids can just ignore the limit...
 

aardwolf

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May 30, 2007
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Only if you give them the passcode you set up when you enable Time Limit.
No, I just tested it. There is no passcode required to tell it to ignore the time limit.

Edit: Oh, you're right! You have to turn on the Content and Privacy Restrictions (under a different menu item) to make it prompt them for a password.

This will actually let me give my daughter an iPad now. :)
 

KC in KC

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2016
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They were SO close to having something that works for kids. As it works now, the kids can just ignore the limit...
As a parent, there has to be way to completely ban an application. Currently, you have to assign at least 1 minute of time. This is not a good parental control.

Also, there is too much "security" based on Apple's view of app categories. If I want my child to use one "Social Networking" app and not others, there isn't a good way to do that except granting "Always Available". Then the downtime limits don't apply.

It looks like Our Pact or other parental controls will still be required in IOS 12.
 
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MJ0778

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Jul 19, 2018
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As a parent, there has to be way to completely ban an application. Currently, you have to assign at least 1 minute of time. This is not a good parental control.

Also, there is too much "security" based on Apple's view of app categories. If I want my child to use one "Social Networking" app and not others, there isn't a good way to do that except granting "Always Available". Then the downtime limits don't apply.

It looks like Our Pact or other parental controls will still be required in IOS 12.
It seems like. My tougher has a Apple touch with iOS 9.3.5 and it doesn’t work. Although I can choose my tougher in my settings and I can set limits etc. Would be nice if it works on every iOS.
 

shareef777

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Jul 26, 2005
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All I can say is it’s about damn time. This feature is AMAZING! I’m able to lock down my two younger sons iPads and my daughters iPhone. They can request more time (similar process to requesting app purchases), and I can grant an extra 15min, 1hr, or remainder of the day. Single greatest iOS feature addition since the App Store!!!
[doublepost=1537408914][/doublepost]
would be good to know how this works with family sharing. Eg can kids be set up so they can't ignore the limits? If they hit a limit can they request an extension from the parent?
Yep, they can request more time per app, and you can approve for an additional 15min, 1hr, or remainder of the day.
[doublepost=1537408946][/doublepost]
They were SO close to having something that works for kids. As it works now, the kids can just ignore the limit...
You can set a password to prevent that.
 
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mariusignorello

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Jun 9, 2013
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As a parent, there has to be way to completely ban an application. Currently, you have to assign at least 1 minute of time. This is not a good parental control.

Also, there is too much "security" based on Apple's view of app categories. If I want my child to use one "Social Networking" app and not others, there isn't a good way to do that except granting "Always Available". Then the downtime limits don't apply.

It looks like Our Pact or other parental controls will still be required in IOS 12.
You can download Apple Configurator on your Mac (if you have one) and create a configuration profile that blacklists certain apps.
 
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sidewinder3000

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Jan 29, 2010
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Does anyone know how to edit the App Categories? I can’t find a way to do this. The categories are random (e.g. for my purposes I don’t consider Find Friends to be “Social Networking”) and there doesn’t even seem to be a way to see everything that’s included in any given category.

I really hope I’ve just somehow overlooked how to do this. Otherwise it’s a really huge miss but Apple. Screen Time could be an amazing game changer, but right now it’s so broad that it’s basically useless.
 

jamesrick80

macrumors 68030
Sep 12, 2014
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Still the kids are safe and better off with simple chromebooks or chromeOS tablets so parents have complete control on what they can do or not do.....
 

Billberryjuice

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Jun 2, 2014
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UK
A few things this still needs:

- bug fixes: not tried it on many other apps but on Safari when the limit has run out and I “ignore for 15 minutes”, instead of getting 15 minutes it will lock down again basically every time I change page or tap on something (on iPhone 6S). Looking at the Screen Time data, I guess this is something to do with the way it logs time for individual sites.

- A simpler way to set restrictions on individual apps: the current way almost feels like it’s unintentional by the way it’s hidden, completely unintuitive

- Categories editing

- Finer Downtime control: what if I want different rules for the weekend? The app restrictions allow custom limits by day, why not here? Ideally they would add even finer control than this (e.g. the ability to set two or more Downtime slots per day)

- Better implementation of “Share Across Devices”: on my main iPhone I spent ages adding apps to Always Allow, setting up Downtime and app limits, and turned on SAD, before moving on to my other phone and iPads - switching on SAD on another device should have picked up the settings I already changed on the first device and brought them to the second - nope, the opposite happens and the settings on the first seem to be wiped away. Thankfully, a way around this is to turn SAD off again on the first device and its own settings should come back. It looks like the way to get your settings to apply across all devices (without redoing them n times) is to turn on SAD on all the other devices *first*, then turn it on on the device that you changed all the settings of, as it seems the last one you switch it on for pushes its settings to all the others.

- Second thing on Share Across Devices: it seems that the only way to see all of your devices in your Screen Time bar chart is to enable SAD across all of them - but what if I want to set different limits for each but still be able to see the data from all of them in one place? Currently this doesn’t seem possible.

- (edit) Third thing on Share Across Devices: turning it on caused some old Apple apps to appear on my home screen for my iPhones in random places (e.g. top right corner) - one was iTunes Store and the other I forget but both were promptly deleted again. I can only guess why this happened but clearly wasn’t intentional!


TLDR: I like it but it needs some work.
 
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Benschoman

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2017
4
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They were SO close to having something that works for kids. As it works now, the kids can just ignore the limit...
You could fill that gap with education.

The kids won’t learn anything from technically imposed limits. What they need is support for learning how to respect limits (on which they agreed in advance together with the parents) themselves. Having these reminders is perfect for that use case.
 

Richardgw

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2018
1
0
No, I just tested it. There is no passcode required to tell it to ignore the time limit.

Edit: Oh, you're right! You have to turn on the Content and Privacy Restrictions (under a different menu item) to make it prompt them for a password.

This will actually let me give my daughter an iPad now. :)
But if they change the date time setting, it could defeat the time limit purpose
 

jasonmcbride

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2019
6
0
I just wish they would drill down a bit further so that I am able to schedule more than one timeblock on the same day eg, from 7am-9am then from 4pm to 6pm
[doublepost=1559181390][/doublepost]I just wish they would drill down a bit further so that I am able to schedule more than one timeblock on the same day eg, from 7am-9am then from 4pm to 6pm