An update to Apple’s iOS operating system is out now; it will provide parents a new set of tools to strive back against kids’ iPhone addiction.
With the announcement of iOS 13.3, parents will, for the initial time, be capable of setting limits over who kids can speak to and text within certain hours of the day.
These deadlines will apply over phone calls, Messages, plus FaceTime.
Parents, too, can apply a separate set of limitations on calls and messaging through the child’s permitted screen time and their downtime hours.
In the latest Communication Limits section of Apple’s Screen Time in Settings, iPhone users can fix limits based on their contacts.
While allotted screen time, users can be reached by everyone or only by people in their contacts, to block unknown contacts from contacting them.
And while Downtime, they can choose to either be reached by everyone or just by designated contacts.
Moreover, if this is fixed up under Screen Time’s Parental Controls, parents get to decide who can reach their children and when and vice versa.
While Downtime, parents can also choose which precise contacts the child can message and call, for example, like only mom or dad.
In practice, this indicates that parents can prevent the child from messaging friends late at night or while the school day by scheduling Downtime to work.
To define, Downtime doesn’t certainly mean “night time” — it is just any time you simply want selected apps to be available, and just calls to get through.
The feature additionally enables parents to manage the child’s iCloud contacts remotely, which makes it simpler for parents to share relevant numbers with their child.
But it too puts parents in complete control of the contact list, so just they can edit it.
Apple isn’t the alone tech company that’s been rethinking how to address customers’ frequently dysfunctional relationship with technology.
Google, too, introduced its individual set of “digital well-being” controls and tools for Android, along with Facebook and Instagram.
While Apple’s Screen Time might have served well for younger kids, teens instantly discovered and shared loopholes and workarounds, much to parents’ dismay.
Time will show if teens can come up with a hack to get their iMessages communicated under the new parental control system, too.