Smartphone addiction is a serious issue that is plaguing the modern day user. While it has become a necessity, users can now measure their consumption habits and control them, thanks to a new focus on this area by Apple and Google. With the introduction of Screen Time and Digital Wellbeing in iOS 12 and Android Pie, respectively, Apple and Google have tried to give control back to users to avoid distraction and reduce their device usage.
While both Digital Wellbeing and Screen Time are currently in beta phase, they are complete enough to deliver reliable data on your smartphone habits and limiting your usage, should you feel you are overindulging. The apps also offer control over family members so you can see the time your kids spend on a device and lock them out of it to curb any late night usage.
Let’s take a look at how these features compare against each other.
Android Pie: Currently, it is only exclusive to the Pixel family of devices that are on Android Pie. You have to enlist for the program by going here.
iOS 12: It is available to any and all devices that run iOS 12: iPhone 5S and up for smartphones and iPad Mini 2 and up for tablets. You simply need to sign up for the beta, install it on your phone and you’re set up.
Android Pie: You can freely choose a time to set for an app before it locks you out, to curb your consumption habits. This is a great way to control your social media consumption or end your YouTube binge sessions when you should be sleeping.
iOS 12: You can customize app limits here as well. Screen Time also lets you set timings for complete app categories, making it easy to avoid certain types of apps, for example, social or entertainment.
Note that for both of these operating systems, you aren’t locked out of your apps completely. You can get back in by tapping on the app and a few proceeding taps allow you to dismiss the lockdown, but this is where willpower and self-control come into play.
Android Pie: Data is presented in a very clean manner and it shows your app consumption in a clean and orderly fashion. You are told how much time you spend in an app with a clean bar graph.
iOS 12: While you need to take an extra step to open up app usage breakdown, you get more comprehensive data such as the longest time you spent on the phone, number of times you picked the phone, etc. There is also a widget that shows you realtime data.
Android Pie: You can setup Wind Down so that your device does not bother you during bed time. Any notifications will not be allowed to light up your display or vibrate your phone, allowing you a distraction free sleep. A grayscale mode turns your screen gray, making it kind of unappealing to use.
iOS 12: Downtime and Bedtime mode lets users set times during which they will not receive any notifications or calls, except for the ones they have specifically whitelisted to bypass downtime. Your device brightness also goes down during Bedtime mode so that if you use your device, it will not blind you with bright light in the dark.
Android Pie: Google has Family Link which also doubles as a remote app for your family phones. Simply have the parent sign in their kid’s login credentials into the phone and they can set what time a phone goes into lockdown, restricting app download, usage and other functions of the smartphone.
iOS 12: Apple has their own version of Family Link, aptly named Family Sharing. Much like Link, it lets you set parameter for your kid’s iPhones and iPads, restricts app usage and installs, and set a time when the device goes into lockdown.
It’s easy to see that iOS 12 is the clear winner due to the massively larger availability of the features and the accessibility of devices that it offers over Android P. When Android Pie hits other devices and Digital Wellbeing becomes more mainstream, we can better see how it fares in the real world, but for now iOS 12 has shown superiority by offering all the same features that Android Pie has to offer, to a larger audience.
Make sure to check out our Android Pie vs iOS 12 feature comparison.