iOS 13.3 Beta Includes Screen Time Communication Limits

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today released an iOS 13.3 beta to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces Communication Limits for Screen Time, a feature Apple promised was coming to iOS 13 in a future update.

With Communication Limits, parents can control who their children are able to contact. Communication Limits apply to the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages apps, along with iCloud contacts.


There are settings to control communication during Screen Time, with options to allow just contacts or everyone to be contacted. There's also a toggle that either allows or disallows users to be added to a group chat when a contact or family member is in the group.

There's also a separate setting for communication limits during downtime, which is also able to be set to everyone or just specific contacts.

Finally, there's a toggle for allowing or disallowing contact editing, which can change some of the contact settings.

Regardless of Communication Limits settings, calls to emergency numbers are always allowed and will turn off communication limits for 24 hours when placed.

With the Communication Limits feature, parents will be able to better control who their children are contacting during different periods of the day, cutting off access to friends during school, for example.

There are other smaller tweaks in iOS 13.3, including an option to disable Memoji and Animoji stickers from showing up on the emoji keyboard and a change to the Apple Watch app that shifts the Digital Crown on the icon from black to gray.

Article Link: iOS 13.3 Beta Includes Screen Time Communication Limits
 
Last edited:

paulbart

macrumors member
Jun 26, 2008
58
36
Seems like some kids are going to learn this and try calling emergency services now to get around the limits, not realising it’s a bad idea to do that.
That was my first thought.

My second thought: what if the kid (for example) dials "999" in the US? Would that unlock things, since it's an emergency service number outside the US? I suspect/hope that Apple have it localized (so only "911" would unlock the limits in the US), but for liability reasons, they may have a whitelist of all possible emergency numbers.
 
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crawfish963

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
554
305
Texas
Unless Snapchat and Instagram are included in this somehow, it's pretty pointless. Those are the two platforms 99% of teenagers are using these days. Snapchat is scary as hell.
 
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Sbishop84

macrumors member
Apr 19, 2015
63
34
That was my first thought.

My second thought: what if the kid (for example) dials "999" in the US? Would that unlock things, since it's an emergency service number outside the US? I suspect/hope that Apple have it localized (so only "911" would unlock the limits in the US), but for liability reasons, they may have a whitelist of all possible emergency numbers.
So In the UK if we dial 911 it transfers the call to 999. So this geographical setting wouldn’t work everywhere.
 

rk-apple

macrumors newbie
May 4, 2015
22
60
Unless Snapchat and Instagram are included in this somehow, it's pretty pointless. Those are the two platforms 99% of teenagers are using these days. Snapchat is scary as hell.
Can limit these apps in general in screentime.
 

s1m

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
502
139
I really like this. As the parent of a 10 year old just getting their first phone I would like to limit who they can call at all times not just screen time limits. Given the kids friends have a variety of their own numbers and only parents numbers I dont want the kid call other kids parents randomly. Ideally I would like them to restrict calls only to contacts and I would like to restrict those contacts.
 

Ferosin

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2013
12
0
San Francisco
Lock the app using App Limits.
Most kids can either find away around screen time or google a solution. Apples screen time even when properly implemented is just starts an arms race between parents locking down loopholes and kids finding or creating more loopholes. Apple needs to invest the resources into making this a reliable way for locking down the phone or remove it from the iOS.