iOS 13.3 Beta Includes Screen Time Communication Limits

Apple today released an iOS 13.3 beta to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces Communication Limits for Screen Time, a feature Apple promised was coming to iOS 13 in a future update.

With Communication Limits, parents can control who their children are able to contact. Communication Limits apply to the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages apps, along with iCloud contacts.


There are settings to control communication during Screen Time, with options to allow just contacts or everyone to be contacted. There's also a toggle that either allows or disallows users to be added to a group chat when a contact or family member is in the group.

There's also a separate setting for communication limits during downtime, which is also able to be set to everyone or just specific contacts.

Finally, there's a toggle for allowing or disallowing contact editing, which can change some of the contact settings.

Regardless of Communication Limits settings, calls to emergency numbers are always allowed and will turn off communication limits for 24 hours when placed.

With the Communication Limits feature, parents will be able to better control who their children are contacting during different periods of the day, cutting off access to friends during school, for example.

There are other smaller tweaks in iOS 13.3, including an option to disable Memoji and Animoji stickers from showing up on the emoji keyboard and a change to the Apple Watch app that shifts the Digital Crown on the icon from black to gray.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
9 months ago


Regardless of Communication Limits settings, calls to emergency numbers are always allowed and will turn off communication limits for 24 hours when placed.

Seems like some kids are going to learn this and try calling emergency services now to get around the limits, not realising it’s a bad idea to do that.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


Now lets out multiple down time options

Yes, this is important. I want to be able to limit usage during school hours or homework time. I'm glad Apple is paying attention to Screen Time, and hope they will continue to flesh out the features.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
Unless Snapchat and Instagram are included in this somehow, it's pretty pointless. Those are the two platforms 99% of teenagers are using these days. Snapchat is scary as hell.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
Now lets out multiple down time options
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


Seems like some kids are going to learn this and try calling emergency services now to get around the limits, not realising it’s a bad idea to do that.

That was my first thought.

My second thought: what if the kid (for example) dials "999" in the US? Would that unlock things, since it's an emergency service number outside the US? I suspect/hope that Apple have it localized (so only "911" would unlock the limits in the US), but for liability reasons, they may have a whitelist of all possible emergency numbers.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Apple Pays Samsung an Estimated $950 Million for Missing OLED Panel Purchase Targets

Monday July 13, 2020 10:03 am PDT by
Apple in the second quarter of 2020 paid Samsung approximately $950 million for not meeting OLED panel purchase goals established in agreements between the two companies, according to display analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants. Samsung last week shared guidance on revenue and operating profit for the second quarter of 2020, which included a one-time gain related to its display...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...

SoftBank Considering Possible Sale of Arm Holdings as Apple Gears Up for Arm-Based Macs

Monday July 13, 2020 2:00 pm PDT by
SoftBank, the company that owns chip designer Arm Holdings, is exploring options that include a full or partial sale or a public offering, reports The Wall Street Journal. SoftBank is working with Goldman Sachs Group as an advisor, and the explorations are at an early stage. The Wall Street Journal says that it's unknown how much interest there would be in Arm from financial or industry...

Rumor Suggests New Apple App for Windows Could Be Coming Soon

Tuesday July 14, 2020 1:54 am PDT by
Apple could be working towards the release of a new app for Windows 10, according to a report this week from an Italian website. The blog Aggiornamenti Lumia suggests that an app from Apple is "coming soon" to the Microsoft Store, but stops short of providing additional details. Apple still maintains a Windows version of the iTunes app, which has been discontinued on Mac and replaced by...

Deals: Amazon Taking $400 Off 16-Inch MacBook Pro, Starting at New Low Price of $1,999.99 for 512GB

Monday July 13, 2020 5:34 am PDT by
Amazon has introduced a new low price on Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro today, including both 512GB and 1TB models. Starting with the 512GB model (2.6GHz 6-Core, 16GB RAM), you can get this notebook for $1,999.99, down from $2,399.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....