Tutorial – How To Use Apple’s Screen Time With MMGuardian for iPhone

Although we highly recommend that parents should get their children Android phones if they want the maximum amount of control over their child’s phone and protection for their child, many parents have already gotten their child an iPhone (or will in the future without being aware of the differences) and cannot switch back to an Android phone for various reasons.

To read about the MMGuardian features available when children have iPhones, check out our blog post reviewing all MMGuardian features.

While the MMGuardian features for child iPhones are different from child Android phones, MMGuardian can be used on iPhones quite effectively if paired with the iPhone’s native Screen Time parental controls.  In this article, we’ll walk you through the Screen Time feature so that you can be aware of all it offers and how to best utilize it in combination with MMGuardian.

Getting Started

To navigate to the Screen Time controls, open the Settings on the child’s iPhone and scroll down until you see “Screen Time” which you can tap.  You’ll then be able to see statistics on the phone usage.  You can see the usage data in more detail by selecting “See All Activity.”  Here you’ll have access to various information such as how long apps have been used, how often the phone has been picked up, the number of daily notifications, and more.

Setting a Passcode

Once back on the main Screen Time screen, we highly recommend first selecting the “Use Screen Time Passcode” option and setting up a passcode.  This will prevent your child from being able to make changes to the Screen Time settings you make.

Downtime

Downtime is similar to the “Time Limits” feature of MMGuardian and allows you to create schedules during which the phone will be unusable except for calls and any apps that you have set to be “always allowed” (see below).  After turning it on, simply select the days on which you would like for it to occur, set the “from” (start) and “to” (end) times, and then you’re good to go.

App Limits

App Limits allow you to set daily limits for how much your child uses apps- either individually, in groups,  or in categories such as “Social Networking” or “Games.”  Once you tap the option to add a limit, you’ll be able to select categories to add limits to, or you can tap the category name to expand it and select individual apps.  You also have the option of adding websites at the bottom.  Please note that the limit will only apply to websites if they are viewed in the Safari browser.

Always Allowed

Your child will always have access to any apps you select here, regardless of your settings in Downtime or if you selected the “All Apps & Categories”  app limit.

Content & Privacy Restrictions

The Content & Privacy Restrictions screen offers a large number of options.

  • iTunes & App Store Purchases- Use these settings to prevent apps from being installed and uninstalled.  This is essential if you are using MMGuardian to prevent your child from removing it, and also to prevent them from downloading alternative browsers to use instead of the MMGuardian browser if you have the web filter enabled.
  • Allowed Apps- Disable or enable pre-installed apps.  If you are using web filter, you’ll need to disable Safari so that your child has to use the MMGuardian browser for web browsing.  You can also disable other potentially concerning apps here such as FaceTime and AirDrop.
  • Content Restrictions- If you would like to limit your child’s access to inappropriate material in the pre-installed apps on the phone, you can set age restrictions here.  There is also an option to set restrictions on web browsing, but MMGuardian’s web filter offers much more control and flexibility.
  • Privacy- Useful if you would like to make your child’s settings as private as possible. For example, preventing apps from accessing the phone’s pictures.
  • Allow Changes- Prevent your child from adjusting other settings on the phone such as data changes and do not disturb while driving settings.

Screen Time For Family

If you have an iPhone, you can set up Screen Time For Family to set Screen Time configurations for your child from your own iPhone.


Parents do need to be aware that Screen Time is not as tamperproof as MMGuardian on Androids, so even when using Screen Time controls, parents still need to be vigilant about keeping an eye on their child’s phone use.


To get started with MMGuardian for Android or iPhone and receive a 14-day free trial, click here.

Consider also joining our Facebook group “Tech-Savvy Parenting” to discuss raising kids in the 21st century with other parents.

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