Tech

New iOS Screen Time feature restricts who kids can talk to and when

iOS 13.3 adds more communication limits to parental controls.

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Screen Time in iOS and Digital Wellbeing in Android are helpful for limiting the amount of time we spend glued to our phones and tablets. But more can still be done to save us from our own device addictions. In iOS 13.3, Apple is extending the power of Screen Time to let parents control who their kids talk to and when.

Communication limits — iOS 13.3 gives parents control over their children’s iMessage, ability to make and receive calls, iCloud, and FaceTime. The new, more granular Screen Time controls let parents decide who their kids can communicate with. For example, with anyone or only with approved contacts. The new controls could also be used punitively to block certain contacts if, for example, a child goes over their Screen Time limits.

These changes have limits; they only work in the previously mentioned apps. If kids are messaging through third-party apps, like any of Facebook’s apps or TikTok, they can still do so freely within their Screen Time parameters.