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Screen Time and Family Sharing

What are the benefits of using Screen Time and Family Sharing on your family's Apple devices? Here are some tips to create a better balance in your household.

Imagine a typical evening in your household. You come home from work, sit down at the dinner table, and instead of engaging in conversation with your family, everyone is lost in their own little screens. Your teenager is texting their friends, your spouse is scrolling through social media, and your younger child is playing video games. Sound familiar?

Screen Time

The Screen Time feature allows you to track and manage the time spent on each app and website you visit. It also provides a breakdown on how much time you spend on your device, how many times you pick up your device during the day, and more. This can provide a greater insight for you on how you use the device and how much time you spend on it.

Every Monday, Screen Time notifies you about your daily usage and provides a trend compared to the week before. This can help you understand whether you are starting to use the device more, even when you might think you haven't.

The main features of Screen Time are Downtime, App Limits, and Content Restrictions.

Downtime allows you to schedule a time away from a device by limiting the apps you can access, or completely limiting your usage. Only the apps you choose are available while this is turned on, and won't be available until it is turned off.

App Limits allows you to set time limits on certain apps and how long you can use them every day. A great example is limiting a social media app, such as Instagram or Tik Tok, to 1 hour per day. This is a fantastic way to put you in control rather than letting the addictive nature of some apps take the better of you.

Content Restrictions allow you to block inappropriate content to be accessed from that device. With it you can control which specific content, apps, purchases, and various privacy settings are allowed to be viewed, edited, and used. This could be a particularly important setting for devices belonging to younger members of the family.

All of these features above can also be managed on your Family's devices, meaning you can set time limits, downtime, and restrictions for your family members.

To go to Screen Time on your iPhone go to: Settings > Screen Time.

Family Sharing

With Family Sharing, you can invite up to 5 family members to share your purchases, service subscriptions, location, and more. This also allows you to better manage the family's content and keep track of them.

If your household is filled with Apple devices that are owned by you or your family members, Family Sharing is pretty much a must have. Below we will showcase some of the best features that come with Family Sharing.

Purchase Sharing allows family members to share purchases that are made on their individual Apple ID. This way, it eliminates the need for each family member to make the same purchase multiple times and can save lots of money in the long run. As the family organiser, you can share your payment methods with your family members, you will then be charged for any app, media, or other purchases made by all family members. Everyone in the family will be able to share apps, media and books purchased this way. Overall, Purchase Sharing is very useful in families with multiple Apple devices and is a cost-effective way to share and enjoy content.

Subscription Sharing can also prove to be a very effective and valuable tool. Share Apple services such as Apple Music, Fitness+, iCloud and more. Using this feature, family members can share their subscriptions with the rest of the family and eliminate the need to pay for these services multiple times. For example, if you are subscribed to Apple Music (Family), you can invite everybody else to enjoy this service for free. This makes it not only a more effective, but also a more organised, way to share services and makes it easier to track payments and renewal dates.

And lastly, but, possibly, the most important for parents can be the Location Sharing feature. Not only great for travel adventures, but also makes a great tool for parents to keep an eye on their children. Our parents could only wish they could find out exactly where we are at any given moment. With this feature, family members can see each other's real-time location of their devices such as Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and AirTags. This can provide peace of mind for parents who want to make sure that their loved ones are safe and secure, no matter where they are.

All these features are built into every Apple device and are easy to activate and edit. They allow you to stay in control of your device usage and share purchases across your family's devices. As well as giving parents peace of mind that their children are using their devices appropriately, without the headache of maintaining complicated settings or additional apps.