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Carrie asked: “I’m trying to find an app that will keep my child time-limited on an iPad or an iPhone.”
Carrie, you don’t need an app to limit the time your child can use your devices for, time limits are already built into iOS.
The setting you’re looking for is called Guided Access, by going to Settings and then Accessibility.
Guided Access is bigger than time limits, it can disable buttons, disable the touch screen or sections of it, and lock the child in a single app.
If you use it, when your child reaches the time limit, they’ll be blocked out of what they were doing and they’ll see a message telling them their time is up. They won’t be able to dismiss the message without the passcode that you set when you first turn it on.
The big limiting factor here is that Guided Access will require you to step in if your child wants to switch apps, so if they try to leave a game to open another one, they won’t be able to without your input.
Unfortunately, there’s not a setting to allow multiple games or applications.
If you’re looking for something a little more robust, check out “Parental Control and Screen Time” by Eturi Corp. It does allow you to set time limits individually for each day of the week, block specific apps without limiting multitasking, block texting, provide you with activity reports so you know what kiddo is up to, and a whole lot of other tweaks iOS’s built-in settings won’t let you touch. But it comes with a price: $40 a year. Considering the precision control you get without needing to be bothered — after all, that’s why we give kids iPads, to get them off our backs, right? — the price may be worth it.