It can be hard to explain to your five-year-old why they have to limit their screen time when you can’t seem to control your own Facebook habits. A new feature from Apple can help remedy that social media addiction and make it easier to put your phone down.

Apple unveiled a whole host of exciting new features at this year’s WWDC, but amongst all the fun new announcements comes a nod to the fact that the company has been under fire recently for not doing enough to combat screen addiction. The Apple Digital Health initiative addresses these concerns with software designed to help you use your phone less.

The new features, called “Screen Time,” coming to iOs 12 will be found in the settings app under Do Not Disturb. One way Screen Time will help is by minimizing phone use at night. You will be able to set the Do Not Disturb function to dim the display and hide all notifications until morning. Notifications in general will also be more controllable with options to turn them on and off easily and group them together to make them less disruptive.

The Screen Time feature will also give you a weekly report of your phone activity broken down by app and even tell you how often you pick up your phone throughout the day. Users can use that information to set time limits on apps with notifications given prior to the time being up. Parents will also be able to view kids’ activity reports and set similar limitations on their devices, like the ability to only use specific apps during certain times of day.

“In iOS 12, we’re offering our users detailed information and tools to help them better understand and control the time they spend with apps and websites, how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad during the day and how they receive notifications,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: JESHOOTS via Pixabay


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