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Apple’s new ‘app limits’ feature can help curb smartphone use

Instagram lets you track how much time you waste on its app, but Apple also showed that it wasn’t far behind, announcing yesterday that the iOS 12 update coming this fall will include “App Limits” that helps restrict the amount of usage, according to your settings.

But more time management options aren’t the only new things accompanying the update — others include notification management and more “Do Not Disturb” features.

You might just lose fewer hours to your iPhone this fall

Yes, “app limits” are just what they sound like — iOS 12 will let you set an amount of time to use different apps, and the feature’s notification will prod you, warning you that your time is almost up when you’ve nearly run out of minutes.

The “Screen Time” panel will show a daily and weekly breakdown of how much you’re using programs in different groups like “social networking” and “entertainment,” let you access a summary of your app usage and display how you’re faring against your own average.

Parents will have more control over their kids’ tech usage

But it’s also looking like parents will have greater influence over their children’s phone usage with the ability to check out how they’re using their phones via “activity reports.” Although they don’t have to have their child’s device present, it’s also possible to do so if it is, of course.

The “Downtime” panel will also let consumers block off time where phone calls and only certain apps will be accessible. Parents can also set this feature on their kids’ devices, but the “Block at Downtime” option takes things a step further, making the device inaccessible— although it says kids can request more time.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, commented on the wide-ranging update.

“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.

“We first introduced parental controls for iPhone in 2008, and our team has worked thoughtfully over the years to add features to help parents manage their children’s content. With Screen Time, these new tools are empowering users who want help managing their device time, and balancing the many things that are important to them.”

So although it can be really difficult to break your overall smartphone obsession, you might just reach a point where this is finally the case this fall:

You: 1

iPhone: 0

Either way, best of luck.

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