iOS 16 adds Screen Time requests in Messages and a shared family album. I'm irrationally pleased about a new Apple Screen Time function. When my daughter wants 15 more minutes on her favourite app, she sends me an iMessage and a pop-up notification.
What's so cool? It's a tiny thing, but if you miss the Screen Time alert, the only one you get, you have to explicitly answer the request in Settings. Passcodes and several taps make this difficult and time-consuming, especially when cooking.
This functionality will be available in Apple's iOS 16 software update this autumn for the iPhone 8 and later, iPad (fifth generation and later), iPad Mini (fifth generation and later), iPad Air (third generation and later), and all iPad Pro devices.Screen Time was revealed this week at Apple's WWDC conference, along with a few other Family Sharing enhancements.
Apple's Screen Time isn't easy or robust enough. Parental controls go against Apple's privacy-first ethos, which is why gaining the tools many parents want to keep their kids safe has been so difficult.
When Screen Time began in 2018, parents could see how long their child was on their smartphone, limit the time they could use it, decide which applications they could access and for how long, and control it all from their own device.
Apple's Screen Time isn't as easy to use or extensive as Amazon's parental controls for its services and Fire tablets, which feature activity reports. Apple's options are less complex than Google's Family Link, which is continually changing and difficult to maintain.
With iOS 16, Apple promises to simplify setup by letting existing Screen Time settings migrate to new devices and providing help for selecting the correct content restrictions based on your child's age when setting up their first device.
Apple also introduced a new Family Checklist feature during the WWDC keynote, which will help parents understand Apple's tools and how to customise them as their child gets older.
Family Sharing is Apple's best selling feature for parents because you don't have to buy the same programmes or subscriptions several times. From my unscientific study of my kids' friends' parents, many don't recognise this. Family Checklist should help.
I like the camera app's auto-share option. iCloud Shared Photo Library is another family-friendly function. Up to six users can contribute to the photo library, and while it's not clear how it will differ from
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