Screentime - how are you getting on with it?

bluecoast

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Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
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I’d really be interested to know if any of you here are putting screentime through its paces.

My experience with it (public beta) has been underwhelming.

For example:

Many of us (ok I am) are news junkies and so I was looking forward to having an easy setting to use to limit my time on news apps and sites... Except there wasn’t one.

I could either block apps and websites on a granular per app/website setting - which is a little fiddly.

It’s not impossibly hard to do this, but the point is if you have something that is meant to help people manage addictive behaviour it should be doing this in a frictionless way as possible.

Or I could limit my time on it via the ‘Reading & Reference’ category - which also excludes useful things such as Maps & travel guides...

I was hoping this feature might have some templates to help people start off with ie ‘Do you want to limit your time spent on social/games/news? Etc’. However it’s way more DIY than I expected.

Again, yes, I know that an educated and informed user can set this up and use it, but again, my point is that I feel that to be be truly useful it should help people who are worried that they’re spending too much time on certain apps to immediately jump in and set limits right away.

Which brings me to another point:

Does any one know why Apple has created an entirely new set of activities for Screentime, when it already has a pretty amazing set that’s had 10 years to be refined? I mean of course the categories on the App Store.

They would be far useful as re my above example I could block all news apps (and websites).

I realise it’s just a beta right now, but if this is basically what we’re getting it’s a little underwhelming...
 
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eoblaed

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,403
1,806
I’d really be interested to know if any of you here are putting screentime through its paces.

My experience with it (public beta) has been underwhelming.

For example:

Many of us (ok I am) are news junkies and so I was looking forward to having an easy setting to use to limit my time on news apps and sites... Except there wasn’t one.

I could either block apps and websites on a granular per app/website setting - which is a little fiddly.

It’s not impossibly hard to do this, but the point is if you have something that is meant to help people manage addictive behaviour it should be doing this in a frictionless way as possible.

Or I could limit my time on it via the ‘Reading & Reference’ category - which also excludes useful things such as Maps & travel guides...

I was hoping this feature might have some templates to help people start off with ie ‘Do you want to limit your time spent on social/games/news? Etc’. However it’s way more DIY than I expected.

Again, yes, I know that an educated and informed user can set this up and use it, but again, my point is that I feel that to be be truly useful it should help people who are worried that they’re spending too much time on certain apps to immediately jump in and set limits right away.

Which brings me to another point:

Does any one know why Apple has created an entirely new set of activities for Screentime, when it already has a pretty amazing set that’s had 10 years to be refined? I mean of course the categories on the App Store.

They would be far useful as re my above example I could block all news apps (and websites).

I realise it’s just a beta right now, but if this is basically what we’re getting it’s a little underwhelming...
I'd love to be able to offer my feedback on many of these questions, but unfortunately Screen Time doesn't seem to work for me for more than a day or two before becoming completely borked. Have to wait for a later beta.
 

bluecoast

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
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I'd love to be able to offer my feedback on many of these questions, but unfortunately Screen Time doesn't seem to work for me for more than a day or two before becoming completely borked. Have to wait for a later beta.
Ok thanks. Maybe it’s just not ready to use yet then. Explains why it seems so under baked.
 

scottct1

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2012
236
284
Connecticut USA
I installed iOS 12 beta on my sons iPhone just for this feature as he likes to stay up all night watching Youtube videos and reading after we are in bed.

So I set up his account from my phone and everything went cool... at 11 PM his apps on his phone stops working.

I was happy until one night at 2 am I heard him giggling in his room, opened the door to see him watching YouTube on his phone. Took his phone from him and discovered all apps were enabled again.

Turns out after the apps turn off, you can still go into Settings > General > Date & Time - and change the time to a non screen time blocked time... and boom your apps are all unlocked again.

Then he figured out later he did not change the time to defeat it, instead he went in and set the time to 24 hour time, seems as though Screentime does not understand 24 hour time.

I submitted this as a bug to Apple, lets hope they fix it as it defeats the entire reason for having parents set screen limits on their kids phones.
 

AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Sep 21, 2008
4,337
2,616
Mine seems to reset everyday. I go to Screentime and every single time it prompts me to "Turn it On". Just started with B4. So I have given up on it for now.
 
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bluecoast

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
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Thanks for sharing guys. Really disappointing. Roll on the next beta... or maybe this is something that won’t go live with the initial 12.0 release. Feels like it right now.
 

Blue Hawk

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2017
563
228
Germany
It doesn’t really work well. You cannot see the time from another devices. And later I‘ve disabled it on my iPad but as long as I’m using Safari on my iPad, my iPhone says the time is over. But still can use it on my iPad.
 
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j-a-x

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2005
1,485
177
Houston, Texas
I installed iOS 12 beta on my sons iPhone just for this feature as he likes to stay up all night watching Youtube videos and reading after we are in bed.

So I set up his account from my phone and everything went cool... at 11 PM his apps on his phone stops working.

I was happy until one night at 2 am I heard him giggling in his room, opened the door to see him watching YouTube on his phone. Took his phone from him and discovered all apps were enabled again.

Turns out after the apps turn off, you can still go into Settings > General > Date & Time - and change the time to a non screen time blocked time... and boom your apps are all unlocked again.

Then he figured out later he did not change the time to defeat it, instead he went in and set the time to 24 hour time, seems as though Screentime does not understand 24 hour time.

I submitted this as a bug to Apple, lets hope they fix it as it defeats the entire reason for having parents set screen limits on their kids phones.
It's amazing how real world testing can catch things like this that Apple internally probably didn't even know about. Kudos to your kid for being a good beta tester!
 

Macwick

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2008
274
229
This is an early beta of a brand new feature so I'm not complaining but ... currently it's useless for my one use case, which is preventing my kid from rotting his brain on YouTube and MineCraft.

Specifically, app time limits work inconsistently if at all. For example, I'll have the limit for 'All Apps' set to 2 hours, but when I check his usage he's been on for 3 hours and still going strong.

Two related questions:

1) Anyone know if the 'All Apps' time limit applies to *each* app - i.e. if I set it to 2 hours, they would be able to use each app for 2 hours? Or 2 hours total? (hopefully the latter).

2) If you have 'All Apps' set to 2 hours, and a specific app set to 1 hour, which limit will be respected for that specific app? Hopefully the 1 hour limit would apply.
 
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gigapocket1

macrumors 68000
Mar 15, 2009
1,641
932
I wish that I can take an app out of a category. Example. I text a lot, but I want to limit my social networking time to about 30 minutes a day. So my texting uses my social networking time when all I really want to do is limit my time on Facebook/instagram/etc..
 

Macwick

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2008
274
229
I wish that I can take an app out of a category. Example. I text a lot, but I want to limit my social networking time to about 30 minutes a day. So my texting uses my social networking time when all I really want to do is limit my time on Facebook/instagram/etc..
You can add the messages app to the list of ‘Always Allowed’ apps.
 

bluecoast

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
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This is the thing - Screentime at the moment feels like a power user tool, when it should be as easy to use but powerful tool for everyday people.

I don’t get the sense that this has been updated in dev beta 5 & unless we see a drastic change in the next beta, I’d rather Apple took their time to get this right & holds this back for the traditional x.1 ‘emoji’ release aka the one that nearly everyone installs.
 

Kalbo_kalbo

macrumors newbie
Apr 17, 2018
12
2
Norway
On beta 1,2 and 3, I was able to see both my wife and my kid under "family" in screen time.
On Beta 4 my wife suddenly disappeared after few days, and now we are in beta 5 and she still don’t show anymore.
We have tried to turn of and on again , and even deleted her from family and added her again, but I still only see my kid there. Anyone else have that issue?
Or is it something apple have changed?
 

cruppga

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2015
124
27
On beta 1,2 and 3, I was able to see both my wife and my kid under "family" in screen time.
On Beta 4 my wife suddenly disappeared after few days, and now we are in beta 5 and she still don’t show anymore.
We have tried to turn of and on again , and even deleted her from family and added her again, but I still only see my kid there. Anyone else have that issue?
Or is it something apple have changed?
Apple made a change that only kid accounts can be monitored.
 

bluecoast

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
1,073
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Screentime seems borked. I hope it doesn’t make 12.0. I want it done properly.
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,616
1,331
I have been using Screen Time on beta 12 and it’s not measuring timings correctly. I’m not just working off a hunch here. I know this because it’s recording a time that’s way too short for watching BBC iPlayer, and it’s easy to tally up my real time based on the length of programmes. This close to release I assume it’s going to be borked.
 
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Apple blogger

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2013
869
146
I’d really be interested to know if any of you here are putting screentime through its paces.

My experience with it (public beta) has been underwhelming.

For example:

Many of us (ok I am) are news junkies and so I was looking forward to having an easy setting to use to limit my time on news apps and sites... Except there wasn’t one.

I could either block apps and websites on a granular per app/website setting - which is a little fiddly.

It’s not impossibly hard to do this, but the point is if you have something that is meant to help people manage addictive behaviour it should be doing this in a frictionless way as possible.

Or I could limit my time on it via the ‘Reading & Reference’ category - which also excludes useful things such as Maps & travel guides...

I was hoping this feature might have some templates to help people start off with ie ‘Do you want to limit your time spent on social/games/news? Etc’. However it’s way more DIY than I expected.

Again, yes, I know that an educated and informed user can set this up and use it, but again, my point is that I feel that to be be truly useful it should help people who are worried that they’re spending too much time on certain apps to immediately jump in and set limits right away.

Which brings me to another point:

Does any one know why Apple has created an entirely new set of activities for Screentime, when it already has a pretty amazing set that’s had 10 years to be refined? I mean of course the categories on the App Store.

They would be far useful as re my above example I could block all news apps (and websites).

I realise it’s just a beta right now, but if this is basically what we’re getting it’s a little underwhelming...
Doesn’t work. Worked in the earlier beta, but stopped working properly after they announced in one of them that it wouldn’t work..
 
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bluecoast

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
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I’m going to very surprised if they ship with screentime.

Everything else (except FaceTime...) seems pretty much done.

Screen time still feels like an early beta. It doesn’t seem to measure things write and it’s really complex to use (for most people) imho.

And not to mention how ‘downtime’, ‘bedtime’ and ‘do not disturb’ work with each other. Maybe it’s me, but I found this really confusing.
 

GreyOS

macrumors 68040
Apr 12, 2012
3,265
1,550
What I would like to see in future is the ability to set up a period of day (eg work hours) where you can use your phone as much as you like, and another period (eg home hours) where your limits come into force. Not downtime where I think any use is blocked?

If this is possible with the current options, please do let me know. It doesn’t seem to be the case but I haven’t fully explored it.
 
Last edited:

bluecoast

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
1,073
928
What I would like to see in future is the ability to set up a period of day (eg work hours) where you can use your phone as much as you like, and another period (eg home hours) where your limits come into force. Not downtime where I think any use is blocked?

If this is possible with the current options, please do let me know. It doesn’t seem to be the case but I haven’t fully explored it.
It doesn’t seem to be possible. But do not disturb can be geo-fenced, so there’s hope for this featureT some point in the future.
 
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Luckylady412

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2018
2
0
Texas
On beta 1,2 and 3, I was able to see both my wife and my kid under "family" in screen time.
On Beta 4 my wife suddenly disappeared after few days, and now we are in beta 5 and she still don’t show anymore.
We have tried to turn of and on again , and even deleted her from family and added her again, but I still only see my kid there. Anyone else have that issue?
Or is it something apple have changed?
How do you get family members screentimes on YOUR phone?
 

StaceyMJ86

macrumors 68000
Sep 22, 2015
1,783
1,397
Washington, DC
I use it for my daughter’s iPad Mini 2, and it has been working fantastic. I’m able to put a limit on the apps I don’t want her using all day and have the educational apps open all day until bedtime. Whenever she ask for additional screen time which come through to my X with no problem, I have her read a story on her Kindle or do a chore around the house. I love seeing which apps she spend the most time on so I can decrease her limit on them. We’re using the latest public beta and screen time has been working flawlessly.
 
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