We all know that too much screen time is not good. However, we do not realize how much time we are spending in front of our mobile phone screens. Using too much of mobile screen can affect both mind and health of people. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to keep an eye on our screen time. In our earlier article, we have explained how to control screen time on iPhones using the default function in iOS. In this article, we will explain how to manage screen time in Android smartphones.
Why Should You Manage Screen Time?
Besides affecting own health there are many other reasons to manage screen time in Android smartphones.
- Nowadays, kids are obsessed with mobile phones. Learning from home has brought a phone or tablet to most of the kids. Therefore, Parents must keep an eye on the screen time of their kids.
- Additionally, it is also essential to see how many apps they are accessing. Parents or guardians should be able to allow or disallow the kids from accessing an app. It should also be possible to set a specific period for a kid to access an app.
If you are interested in learning all of these things on Android, continue reading this article.
Manage Screen Time in Android
Android provides handy monitoring tools to keep a check on your screen time. You can also find the time spent on each individual app on your phone. The following steps will explain the different features of digital wellbeing in Android.
- Open ‘Settings’ and select ‘Digital Wellbeing & parental controls’ option.
- Choose ‘Your Digital Wellbeing tools’ on the next screen.
- You can find the total screen time spent for that day. The circular scale will display the fractions of the time along with app names. This is a brief report.
- If you want to see the detailed screen time, tap the circular chart or ‘Dashboard.’
- The next screen will display a detailed view of your screen time. You will find a list of apps along with watch times.
- Tap the drop-down list at the top of the ‘Dashboard.’ You can see ‘Notification received’ or ‘Times opened’ statistics. “Notification received’ tells how many notifications you have received as a whole and from each app. ‘Times opened’ tells how many times you have opened apps.
- Scroll down the list to see all the apps.
Restrict Individual App’s Screen Time
You can set daily timers for each app to restrict the usage of an app for that time each day. If that time is spent, you cannot use the app. The relevant app icon will become blurred, and if you click it, it will display an ‘App paused’ message. You can use that app the next day again for the set time duration.
- To set the time, click the icon on the right side of the app. It will display detail of your time with that app.
- Touch ‘App timer’ in the ‘Settings’ below. A pop-up message box will show up on the screen where you can set the time. Press ‘OK’ to go back to the app statistics page. Press the back arrow to go back to the main screen.
- There are additional features to set on the main screen like ‘Bedtime mode’ in which the phone will remain silent except for alarms and calls.
- Another important feature is ‘Focus mode.’ If you turn it on, the phone will pause distracting apps and hide their notifications.
Parenting Controls in Android
If your kid has an Android phone or tablet, you can use parental control and set all of the above settings for them. You can view all the statistics and their locations on your phone. Make sure you have set up a Gmail address for your kid as a parent and connect it to your Gmail account. Use the Gmail address of your kid to set up their Android phone or tablet. Next, follow the below steps to watch their activities or see their locations.
- Open ‘Settings’ and select ‘Digital Wellbeing & parental controls’.
- Scroll down and look for ‘Parental controls.’
- You will see the email address of your kid below. If you have set up multiple email addresses, all of them will show up here.
- Tap the email address of your kid to open ‘Google Family Link’ if it is installed on your phone. Otherwise, ‘Google Play’ will open so that you can install it on your phone.
- Under ‘Google Family Link’, you can set screen time limits, allow or block apps, see the location of your child’s device, etc.
- Open ‘Settings’ and set the controls.
Manage Screen Time in Android with 3rd Party app ‘Screen Time’
Although Android provides enough features and tools for your digital wellbeing and parental control, you can also use 3rd party apps for extra comfort and flexibility. ‘Screen Time’ is a simple to use app which provides screen usage time for all the apps you use on your phone. You can also set time limits for the apps to restrict the usage.
- Install the ‘Screen Time’ app from Google Play.
- Run the app once the installation is completed and accept the ‘Data collection and use disclosure’ to continue.
- Give ‘Usage access’ to ‘Screen Time’ app on the next screen. You can find ‘Screen Time’ app in the list and enable ‘Permit usage access’.
- The next screen will show your total screen time for today. You can see the breakdown of the screen time into different app’s times. Tap ‘Last 7 days’ to see the statistics of the last week.
- Tap the app icon to see the detail of the screen time of that app.
Limiting Individual App
If you are using a particular app for longer time, it’s a good idea to limit the usage of that app. In this way, you can restrict the most used apps one by one and reduce the overall time spent on the screen.
- Click ‘Limit’ to set time limits for apps and press the ‘Add Limit’ hyperlink on the next screen.
- A pop-up alert will display, asking you to permit ‘Screen Time’ to display a lock over other apps. Tap ‘ENABLE’ and find ‘Screen Time’ in the list of apps on the next screen. Tap it and enable the ‘Allow display over other apps’ button.
- Go back to the ‘App Limit’ page of the ‘Screen Time’ and touch ‘App Limit.’
- Two options will show up – ‘Create App Limit’ and ‘Create Category Limit’ and choose the one you like. ‘Create App Limit’ is the commonly used option and tap on it.
- The coming screen will display the list of all the apps. Choose the one for which you want to put a time limit. You can choose multiple apps as well. Hit the ‘Next’ button situated in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Set the time limit for the selected app on the next page. You can also set separate times for each day by tapping on ‘Customize Days.’ For example, you can set more extended time for weekends and shorter time for weekdays – Press the ‘Add’ button in the upper right corner. Now the time limit will be activated.
- Once the time limit is met on the app, a message will show up saying, ‘You’ve reached your limit on the app.’
Ignoring Screen Time After Limiting
Now you may have a question that how to ignore the screen time set and continue using the app for emergency need. Default Android Screen Time setup will make the app icon grey. When you tap on it, it displays a message that your daily time limit has ended. The only option is going to settings and change the time limit you have setup previously.
However, the Screen Time app will show a “Ignore Limit” message after reaching the time limit. You can tap on that link and choose to ignore the limit for only 15 minutes or for the entire day.