Apple Screen Time is a mess (and a work-around)

Couple of thoughts as I set up Screen Time on my Apple devices.

  1. Share across devices” is seriously broken. My MacBook Pro and my iPad can see” each other but not my iPhone. My iPhone call see” all three but any changes made there, as well as time spent on the device, are not syncing back as far as I can tell because the MacBook Pro and the iPad aren’t seeing the phone. Other people are seeing the exactly same thing with phone vs other Apple devices. This has been going on for years apparently (and even earlier than that thread).
  2. They don’t want you setting up 0 minute blocks. There is a work-around, sort of, if you want different rules for different days of the week. Do the designers not expect that some people will want to block apps completely?
  3. If you turn off Share across devices” you lose all of the app limits you have set up. You might lose other stuff as well, I haven’t checked.

I’m pretty sure that whoever designs and programs this feature does not use it at all. If they did we wouldn’t be having long-standing bugs like what I’m running into.

It seems to me that maybe the best bet right now is to just turn off sharing across devices but I’d really like to have the insights. I’d also not like to have to set up the same rules across three devices. At this point I’m just hoping the iPhone starts showing up my iPad and MacBook Pro.


That work-around I mentioned above? Here it is on iOS:

  1. In Screen Time” in the Settings app tap App Limits”.
  2. Tap the Add Limit” button.
  3. Select your category/app/website and tap Next”
  4. Do not select a time yet but tap Set” in the upper right corner. This will collapse the Time section.
  5. Tap Set” again and you will now see Customize Days”. Tap that.
  6. You’ll now get a way to customize each day of the week. Some of these can be 0 but at least one needs to be at least 1 minute.
  7. Tap the return link in the upper left corner (it is named after whatever category/app/website you chose in step 3).
  8. Tap the Add” button.

You’ll now see the custom schedule in the App Limits list.

This is how I set my blocking for social media apps on the weekends. Those two days are set to 0 minutes and the rest I have set to other values.

February 17, 2024

Changes are afoot

Starting some changes today trying to get myself back in alignment with some semblance of health (mental and otherwise) and with my values. Today it starts with:

  • No social media on the weekends - touching grass” so-to-speak.
  • Enabled iOS/macOS Screen Time (that has been its own challenge).
  • Switched over to Safari as my main browser on my main devices to take advantage of Screen Time while browsing.

Going to need to figure out how this is going to work on my Windows machines but given how little I use them, and how, maybe this isn’t a problem.

People who know me online know this attempt is not the first time I’m trying this. It can be a bit disheartening to look back through my journals and see the same patterns over and over again despite trying to change. However if I don’t keep trying, when I know change is necessary, I’ll definitely be nowhere. Maybe this time the changes stick.

The biggest problem is I tend to try to make huge changes and that hasn’t worked so I’m trying again but with smaller bite-size” changes to see if that helps. The point here is long-term change. I have been making some smaller changes in how I do things in other areas of my life and they’re sticking so I’m hoping this approach works better in health/values areas as well.

February 17, 2024

Pete Moore over on micro.blog writing about Bluesky/Twitter:

I just don’t see how Bluesky is a cure for its counterpart’s woes. People seem to be forgetting what started happening to the ship while Dorsey was still at the helm.

Well first off Dorsey isn’t at the helm and Bluesky, the company, was spun off as a public benefit corp. That’s a good start.

But the whole point of the project (then the company) was to create AT Protocol and have Twitter run off of that. Clearly things changed but AT Protocol is built for federation (like Mastodon) and building various services that can all run independently of Bluesky the site or Bluesky the company.

So yeah, Bluesky is a huge cure for its counterpart’s woes.

February 14, 2024

Out for a walk on another beautiful day in Chicagoland. Sunny and mid-40s again.

Picture of playing field with blue sky with cloudsPicture of playing field with blue sky with clouds

Picture of basketball court with blue sky with cloudsPicture of basketball court with blue sky with clouds

VSCO SS1 Pro

February 14, 2024

OK this is sweet. Cherry Audio has released an emulation of the Roland CR-78 drum machine.

You know this one…“In the Air Tonight” from Phil Collins…“Kiss on My List” from Hall and Oates… Heart of Glass” from Blondie

Really looking forward to a comparison with the real thing.

Cherry Audio CR-78 drum machine user interfaceCherry Audio CR-78 drum machine user interface

February 14, 2024

This is a fun story via Synth Anatomy.

New Moog polysynth hardware spied during the Super Bowl halftime show. Then Andrew Huang had a mention in a Facebook post.

Picture of Moog Mirror synthesizerPicture of Moog Mirror synthesizer

February 14, 2024