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Chrome to Support Apple’s ‘Screen Time’

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Update: Google is adding support for macOS Screen Time as well. A new flag is now available on the Google Chrome Canary channel

Screen Time:Integrate with the macOS Screen Time system.

Source: Chromium Gerrit.

Google Chrome is adding support for “Screen Time”, an iOS feature that helps you control device usage.

Screen Time on iOS

Screen Time lets you track the time you spend on individual apps or app categories. For example, you can check your stats and see how long you use social media every day.

You could then set up limits for app usage. Reduce the amount of time you spend on Facebook or instagram.

Chrome Support

A code change request support I spotted today talks about adding support for Screen Time on iOS 14.

Screen Time - iOS
Screen Time – iOS

Google Chrome will add an experimental flag to the chrome://flags page on iOS to test this feature.

“Enables ScreenTime: Enables ScreenTime on iOS 14.0 and above”

I don’t have much available on this feature at this point. However, it is possible that Chrome is trying to add support for tracking screen time for individual websites like it did on Android.

Are you an iPhone or iPad user? Are you already using Screen Time? Let me know in the comments section.

Source: Chromium Gerrit.


14 responses to “Chrome to Support Apple’s ‘Screen Time’”

  1. Whatever they added “broke” Screen Time again for us! I want Screen Time to oversee ALL apps as a group, except that which is specifically allowed. Safari didn’t work, so over the summer, I had to download Chrome, disable Safari and then Screen Time managed the time allowed across all apps including Chrome. Now the new release broke that again! Now I have to add a specific limit for Chrome (because, lets face it, Chrome basically means YouTube for kids) and reduce the All Apps category by the Chrome time. It’s like playing a game of Whack A Mole >;(

    1. Seconded. I had also removed Safari and installed Chrome to allow me to control total surfing time (as opposed to per site access). This new approach to using URL-based limits and eliminating application-based limits ruins my good workaround.

  2. MFMauceri Avatar
    MFMauceri

    Chrome’s ability to disregard Screen Time’s settings is an issue. It’s also a bit disingenuous for Apple to not make it clear that Screen Time will NOT block websites on another browse (Chrome, at least)r. I upgraded numerous devices in my household to utilize Screen Time, but with distance learning, my kids are required to use Chrome to access Google’s tools.

    Safari (on MacOS) will limit access to sites like Instagram.com (which kids use after their iOS time runs out) or Discord.com, which is an infinite time waster.

    Very frustrating. Apple’s Community site has numerous posts regarding, but no response from Apple.

  3. This is very annoying.
    It appears that ScreenTime’s not affecting Chrome at all.
    It’s active beyond the time limit and during downtime.

  4. Mark F. Mauceri Avatar
    Mark F. Mauceri

    Google Chrome seems impervious to Apple Screen Time’s settings. My kids’ schools require them to use Chrome for distance learning, plus they get to spend as much time as they like on gaming sites, web components of apps, and porn.

  5. Pepe le Pew Avatar
    Pepe le Pew

    I figured out how to add Chrome to iOS screen time. Go to Settings > screen time > App limits and choose ‘Add Limits’. The list of available Apps will not include Chrome. HOWEVER, if you expose the search bar my pulling down that screen, you can type in Chrome and Choose ‘Chrome – System’. The next steps are standard applying the limit time etc. Incidentally, you can do the same for SAFARI.

    It seems that iOS 14 has not figured (yet) how to display the category’System’ in the list of available Apps to limit.

    1. You can also add a limit to Chrome by finding it in the See All Activity and looking for it in the Most Used list. But you have to add a separate limit specifically for that App (vs an overall limit [my kids’ iPads are their own, and they have a separate school issued one for schoolwork, so that’s my use case]). Again, this is just playing whack-a-mole to whatever pops up. And it still doesn’t fix that the clock starts again at midnight. Daughter sneaks it out, or her brother’s. We’ve resorted to taking it away at night, and that should probably be the solution for most other people, but there are other issues surrounding why this doesn’t work 100% in our situation.

  6. Mark F. Mauceri Avatar
    Mark F. Mauceri

    Use the “Downtime” custom settings to deactivate/activate the device on a schedule. My kids devices get “bricked” at 11:00 PM (school nights), and reactivated the following morning. However, Chrome is impervious to a lot of website limits. Apple will not claim that they can fully implement Screen Time to a Chrome browser. I spent an hour on the phone to understand what screen time can and can’t do.

  7. Colin Smith Avatar
    Colin Smith

    Just a note to anyone having problems with the “total” screentime problem. You can still add the Chrome app (rather than the sites) to a group, but you have to swipe down on the page where you see the list of categories and apps, then search for “chrome” in the search box,

    It will show as being in the “System” group (which doesn’t appear in the list).

    You can do the same thing with the Safari app.

    1. Can you give out the steps to do this? I don’t seem to be able to do what you suggest.
      I go to Settings > Screen Time > CHILD’S NAME > App Limits

      > All Apps & Categories > CATEGORIES, APPS, AND WEBSITES > Edit List
      swipe down to bring up the search box, type in “Chrome”, select check box and “Add”, but then I don’t really see it in the long list of MOST USED APPS, CATEGORIES, AND WEBSITES

      I see check box circles for Social, Games, Entertainment, … Travel, Other, and below that Websites.

      I don’t know if this affects the above, but I had to separately make a 15 minute Chrome limit thats sitting as a line item at “Settings > Screen Time > CHILD’S NAME > App Limits”. (At the same level, I have a 15 min Safari limit. I’d like Safari, Chrome, to be under the same over-arching time limit as where YouTube, Minecraft, GatchaLife, and everything else is at. I want to let daughter decide what to use her 2 hours on, rather than me saying you get 15 min on Safari, 15 min on Chrome, and 1.5 hrs on everything else.

      1. Colin Smith Avatar
        Colin Smith

        Not sure why, but it doesn’t show on the list after selecting it.

        However, after selecting it, If you tap next (top right), you will see it is listed on the next page under Categories, Apps and Websites alongside the other categories you chose.

        1. Unfortunately, I don’t think a picture can be added to these comments.

          What all is on the page where you see it? Is it the page that has (from top to bottom)
          All Apps & Categories
          App Limit –> Slider button
          Time –> mine says “Custom”
          Block at End of Limit –> Slider Button
          CATEGORIES, APPS, AND WEBSITES
          All Apps & Categories
          Edit List
          Delete Limit

          Or is it the one (one screen Back from above) that has (from top to bottom, using my specific line items as an example)
          App Limits –> Slider Button
          Safari –> 15 min, Every Day
          All Apps & Categories –> Sun&Fri-Sat 1hr 30min, Mon-Thu 1hr
          Chrome –> 15 min, Every Day
          Add Limit

          1. So I tried this out on my own device’s Screen Time controls, and I think to get to what Colin was able to do with Chrome-time and Safari-time being considered all inclusive with the time for “All Apps & Categories’ is that I must have to NOT previously had a separate time limit for these specific items (meaning, NOT have a separate line item at Settings > Screen Time > CHILDS NAME > App Limits).

            I’ll have to play around with rearranging it when my kids’ times are done for the day.

  8. THANK YOU Colin and Lily

    For your guide on how to find the “secret hidden work around”. Now Chrome is added and I am full of excited anticipation to see if the app is actually blocked when general screen time is activated this evening 🙂


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