iOS 12 Usage Time: it tells you how and how much you, or your children, use the device

April 3, 2019

How “Time to Use” works on iOS 12, the feature that tells you in detail how, and how much, you use your devices and those of your children, and can also limit the use of some apps.

With iOS 12, Apple has equipped iPhone and iPad with a number of tools to allow users to have full control over the terminal. After introducing battery checking options in the past, iOS 12 comes with built-in tools that help users control their time spent on their iOS devices. In English, the function is called “Screen Time”, while in Italian it has been translated as Time of Use. Here’s where it is, what it allows you to do and how to best manage it.

Where is it?

Tempo di Uso is not an application to download from the App Store but is already installed on iOS 12. You can find it by going to Settings, just under Don’t Disturb.

What is it for?

Time of Use provides information about the time spent in apps and websites. It is a window, in short, in which the user can know exactly the time spent in front of the display of an iOS device. This function creates Daily and Weekly Activity Reports that are shown on tables, and that provides the total time spent in each app, the time spent on the various categories of apps, the number of notifications received and how often the user takes control of his iPhone or iPad.

In this way, the user will have a complete overview of how he uses his iPhone or iPad. Not only that. Within the Usage Time window, there is also the possibility to enter time limits: within a time period set by the user will be available only apps allowed and incoming and outgoing calls.

Main screen

When you open the app, you immediately get a summary of your smartphone usage. At the top, you can see the name of the device from which the data came. It should be noted that Time of Use works with your personal iCloud account and records data from any device connected to that account. This will allow you to verify from one device also the data of another. For example, you can check the time of use of your iPad by looking from your iPhone, and vice versa. In addition, you will be able to see the total usage times, i.e. those generated by all your iOS devices together.

At the top, you can immediately see how long you have been using the terminal, with detailed information about the day, or about the average of the previous 7 days. Scrolling down, instead, there is the ranking of the most used apps and clicking on each of them you can see even more detailed information.

The same app provides information on the number of times the user has picked up the device and unlocked it, and even the number of notifications received, also broken down by app, and the time spent between uses. In short, it is a more than a timely diary of the user’s use of their terminal. In this way you can really keep track of the use, even to understand if you maybe use too often, and for which categories of apps you do it.

One thing, for example, is to spend too much time in front of productivity apps, which maybe serve for work, another thing, instead, is to find out to spend hours in front of a video game.

Parental Control

As already mentioned, Time of Use not only provides information about the use of the terminal in use but also contains those of all other iOS devices connected with the same iCloud account. This means that a parent can control their child’s activity. The Time to Use feature is perfect for anyone who wants to better understand and manage the use of their device, but it is particularly useful for families with children. Parents can access their children’s Activity Report directly from their iOS device to get a clearer picture of their children’s activities, and they can manage and set limits with App Limitations.

App Limitations

Under App restrictions, you can set a limit on the use of certain categories, or even all apps and categories. For example, if you choose the Games section, a timer will appear immediately. You can choose to allow games to be played for a certain number of minutes or daily hours. In this way, all apps downloaded from the App Store and belonging to the category Games can be used only for the time set by the user. Of course, you can also choose a timer for other categories of Apps, such as those related to Social Networks, Creativity, Leisure, Productivity, and more.

Pause of use

Pause of use, always available in the first screen when you open Time of Use, allows you to set a time frame in which you will choose to take a real break from your smartphone. Within the set time frame, your iPhone or iPad will only show you the features you want, the apps you want, and your iPhone will still have inbound and outbound calls.

The usage pause is extended to all devices using the same connected iCloud account. Five minutes before the pause starts, you will receive a reminder notification to prepare to “unplug”. When the pause function is active, app notifications are not displayed and a badge appears on the app indicating that you cannot use them. Parents can choose specific apps, such as Phone and iBooks, that will always be available, even during the blocking period or after a usage limit has expired.

Parents can set a daily limit for their children to use their iOS device. When the limit is reached, children can ask to have some more time.

Allowed apps

Within the “Always Allowed” section, available in the first Usage Time screen, you can set up some applications that are always usable, even when the pause period is active and even when you have set a maximum use time for all categories of apps. The choice is up to the user: it will be possible to insert in this section Always Allow any app installed on the device. Of course, the more apps you activate as “always allowed”, the more you will tend to belittle the entire function of the pause periods and the time restrictions to the use of apps.


Time of use and the new functions listed above are available with iOS 12. We remind you that iOS 12 can be installed on iPhone 5s and later, on all models of iPad Air and iPad Pro, sixth generation iPad, fifth-generation iPad, iPad mini 2 and later and sixth generation iPod touch.