Parenting Tip: Limit screen time using Kaboom App Timer
Limiting screen time is a challenge for any parent. It's easy to hand an iPad to your kids and even easier to get distracted and forget to take it away. One way to move that responsibility away from your forgetful self and onto the device is using the Kaboom App Timer.
As its name implies, Kaboom is a timer that runs in the background while your child plays with your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Kaboom has two timers -- one called Play and one called Rest. Play is the amount of time you want your child to use the device, and rest is the amount of time the device is not accessible to play. Each timer is based in minutes / hours and can be set for as little as five minutes or as long as 24 hours. Unfortunately, there is no clock option so you can't set the device for play time from say 8:00 - 10:00 AM and rest for the remainder of the day.
Before you can use Kaboom, you have to set up the alerts in settings > notifications and change the alert type from banners to screen alerts. Once that is done, you can open Kaboom, set the play and rest timers and let your child enjoy some time with your iOS device. When their play time is up, a screen and sound alert will let your child know it is time to take a rest.
During rest time, the app disables your device by sending a screen alert every time your child moves away from the Kaboom app. These alerts have a Close and OK button. Pressing Close will send a continuous stream of alerts to the device, while pressing OK will bring your child back to the Kaboom app and put a stop to the alerts. These constant, nagging alerts make it difficult, if not impossible, for your child to use the device during rest time.
Of course, savvy children will learn very quickly that they can just turn off the timer in the Kaboom app to stop the nagging alerts. Thankfully, a parental lock feature prevents kids from making any changes without typing in a passcode. If they are determined, a child can fight their way through the stream of alerts and turn off notifications in the settings. Hopefully, an attentive parent will notice this flurry of alerts and intervene to take the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch away.
Kaboom - App timer is available in the iOS App store for US$0.99. It's well worth the dollar to help you control your children's time in front of the screen.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Software Updatesmore updates
- NFL Mobile updated for 2014 Season with new Fantasy Football features, NFL Now integration
- Yahoo Mail improves email inbox searching with new filtering options
- Ember for Mac gains 'hugely-requested' screen recording feature
- Spotify update adds equalizer, refreshed Artist page and more
- Fantastical 2.1 for iOS adds new snooze, search and notification features
- ExpanDrive 4, more services and faster sync