Which apps on your iPhone do you use the most? I thought I wanted to know, but once I found out, I wished I didn’t know.
Apple has two iPhone and iPad tools which help to show you which apps get most of your attention and time. One is the new Screen Time tool. The other is the Battery app. Both are locating in the Settings.
What do you get?
Battery is simple. Open Settings, scroll down to Battery and tap it. What you’ll see is a list of applications and how much battery they use; over the past 24-hours, and for the last 10 days.
That’s a quick way to see which apps are used the most, in declining order, but if you tap the Show Activity link you’ll get more detail. The percentages translate from percentage to minutes and hours, and even that detail is divvied up to include actual screen time.
The results can be scary.
Screen Time is more complicated to set up and use, but has interesting results, too. For now, ignore the Screen Time options for Downtime, App Limites, Communication Limits, etc. Those are designed to help you manage the details.
Tap See All Activity and you get the gory details of app use, by app or by category. Tap each individual app to see which days get the most use. Tap Show Categories to view apps by category.
For me, the latter was Reading and Reference, Productivity, Social Networking, Health and Fitness, Creativity, Other, and so on. I’ve been trying out a new app called Smart News. It’s free and pulls news from many sources. My daily average went to 28-minutes, but has begun to drop.
Social Networking was more obvious. Messages and Instagram. Additional options include the ability to view data by day, and then by hour.
Any value in doing that dance?
Yes. First, you get a little history. Second, you see trends pop out. Third, you recognize that you can control the apps used, the time on each app, and ultimately that helps you gain more control over your life.