Apple just had its Worldwide Developers Conference and spilled the beans on what we can expect from the new iOS update, which is due to roll out around September. Like most iOS updates, we were left slightly underwhelmed – who asked for the ability to Facetime 32 people at once? And why is the fact that Animojis can now stick their tongues out a big deal? One feature, however, actually seems useful, especially for anyone who worries about the amount of time they spend on their phones.
Once you’ve updated your software, your phone will automatically have an app called Screen Time. Here you will be able to see exactly how much time you spend on your phone. And you won’t be able to kid yourself that it was all spent doing work e-mails – Screen Time will break down the exact amount of minutes (okay, hours) spent in each particular app. It will also show you your record for the longest time you spent uninterrupted on your phone.
So, once you have started using Screen Time it’s likely you’ll freak out at how much time you spend on your phone and want to cut down. Enter App Limits, a function of Screen Time where you can decide how long you want to spend on each app a day. Once activated, you will get notifications like ‘five minutes left to waste the most precious days of your life reading a long Twitter thread about skincare!’ or ’15 minutes left in the day to stalk your ex’s new girl, being really careful to not watch her story or double-tap anything by accident!’ (or some less specific notifications, but you get the point).
We often go to bed with the intention of going to sleep, only to spend an hour scrolling through the We Rate Dogs Twitter feed before finally falling asleep, phone in hand. Screen Time will also tell you just how long you spent on your phone after you hit Bedtime Mode. There’s also going to be a new option to set your phone to ‘Do Not Disturb During Bedtime’, which will save all your notifications until morning.
It sounds like after this iOS update your phone is going to start acting like a bossy parent who points out that you spend too much time on your phone and aren’t getting enough sleep, which might not be such a bad thing. Excessive social media use can lead to anxiety and FOMO, and using your phone before bedtime ruins your sleep so we’re actually looking forward to these new features. As long as group Facetimes don’t become a thing.
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