Apple's latest iOS update is leading people to look on in horror as people realise what they really do with their phones.
iOS 12 – introduced this month – includes a feature known as "Screen Time". That tool logs what apps and activities people do with their phone, and presents it all in one easy to use chart.
The phone will log whether people are spending all their time on social media, for instance. And it also measures other data like how many notifications arrive and how often owners pick up their phones.
All of that is shown in the "Screen Time" page, which can be found in settings. The information will be presented in graphs, and users are offered the ability to ban themselves from specific apps, for instance.
But those charts – intended as a way of allowing people to better control their use of their phone – have turned out to be more than a little horrifying to many users. Many appear to have used their last few minutes of available time to tweet about just how miserable their incessant tweeting is making them.
Well I’m guessing the ‘Screen Time’ app will make me realise how much time I spend on my phone, I’ll feel guilty for a minute and think of the long term implications but then I won’t do anything about it. 😂 #iOS12— Lee Clarke (@OneAndOnlyLee05) September 17, 2018
Others embraced ignorance as a way of avoiding the horrifying graphs.
Installed IOS12 and immediately disabled Screen Time. I don’t want to know!— Chris Pugh (@chrispugh) September 17, 2018
Many found, however that the feature is actually working – despite or perhaps because of the feelings of shame. The feature was introduced by Apple as a way of allowing people to use their phone for what they actually want to do, which appears to be paying off.
iOS 12 Screen Time limits totally work. I have Twitter on the phone set to 15 mins/day and Instagram to 10 mins/day. Time spent on both over the past week is down by a bunch. Time spent reading works of substance is up. Thanks Apple!— DHH (@dhh) September 17, 2018
One important group affected by the changes are children. Apple allows the Screen Time feature to be controlled within families – meaning, for instance, that parents can set limits for their children, who can ask for more time if they need it.
There's much (futile) protesting going on at my home tonight by my kids about installing iOS 12 because of the new Screen Time. I'm not turning on any restrictions yet. I want for all of us to see how much they actually use certain apps, then we'll decide what's reasonable to do.— Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) September 18, 2018
Screen Time is just one of a vast range of features introduced in iOS 12, Apple's latest iPhone update. They also include other features intended on improving people's relationship with their phone, including alterations to the way notifications work.
The feature should nudge users into using it when the latest update is installed. But if not it can be found by heading into the Settings app, scrolling down to Screen Time, and following the instructions that are found there.