The more I look at (remote) Screen Time the more impressed I am by the power and complexity of this project. Today, for example, I realized there is an option to include or exclude “Website Data”. I also discovered that after you’ve set an app limit time, a magic “Customize Days” option appears! I can’t “unsee” “Customize Days” now, but for weeks I didn’t notice that it suddenly appears once you set a time value.
It’s not perfect by any means. Screen Time reports don’t always update promptly. I have a device that refuses to enroll in Screen Time. The need to change an Explorers Apple ID age to be under 18 is more than frustrating — this should be an Accessibility setting. We need Apple to offer an API that devs can build solutions around, so the burden of making this work doesn’t fall only on parents. Note least — we need better documentation!
I’ve been trying to write that documentation and I now understand why it doesn’t exist. This is really complicated. I’ve rewritten my chapter work several times, and now I’m stepping back to collect the best documentation I can find by searching on some keyword phrases:
- Screen Time
- Family Sharing
- Include Website Data
- Customize Days
As of 1/5/2019 if I ask for all of these I get one result! Relaxing the search a bit here are the best docs I’ve found (most of ‘em don’t get the difference between remote and local Screen Time controls):
- How to Set Up and Use iOS 12 Screen Time (painful ads)
- Guide to Parental Controls in iOS 12 – Jellies
- Screen Time in iOS 12: A SuperParent Guide
- How to Use Screen Time with your Family Sharing Account
- Kirkville – Protect Your Kids on iOS Devices with Parental Controls
- Inside iOS 12: Manage Device Usage with Screen Time – TidBITS
- Remote Screen Time in iOS 12 – a breakthrough in Explorer support (an early attempt of mine)
And from Apple support (there’s not much in the iOS 12 User Guide):
- Use Screen Time to get insights about how you use your device
- Use parental controls on your child’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
- Use Screen Time to prevent purchasing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
That’s the current set. Next step is to finish my own take, then go through each of the above and add in what I’ve missed.