App and Game Limits aims to bring more control to parents who want to crack down on screen time.
In a bid to help parents clamp down on household screens, Microsoft has announced the App and Game Limits as part of its family settings options.
The new feature is designed to enhance the current family settings that are available, helping control the way children and teens use their devices. The App and Game Limits require you to have an existing Microsoft Family Group which is where you can create or add your child's account.
The feature now shows "App and Game Limits" by their profile. Clicking through will take you to the screen where you can see what devices the limits apply, and what applications and games are installed. You can also select schedules for weekdays and weekends.
Before this new feature, parents could only set screen time limits with a wide range, but this new system allows for more specific choices.
When your child first boots up the game, the App and Game Limits will pop up a notification indicating how much time the child has left. Throughout their session, they will have another notification, and then full-screen notifications will show the player how long they have left at specific intervals.
When the time is up, the child can decide whether or not they just want to quit the game, or send a message to their parent's device asking for extra time. Parents will receive the request via email and through a notification from Microsoft Launcher available on android.
The devices affected by the feature are shared across Xbox One, Windows 10 devices, and Android through the Microsoft Launcher. The limits can be applied to both child and teen accounts. You will also be able to see weekly reports showing exactly how much time your child is spending on specific apps or games, allowing you to make screen time choices at a later date if you so wish.
Additionally, with regard to setting up a child account on Xbox One, Microsoft has made it a simpler process, removing the requirement of providing a credit card for verification. Now, parents can just add their e-signature for verification.
Screen time is a deliberate choice and the discussion surrounding it varies from household to household depending on which family's preferences. Earlier this year, the UK saw the introduction of the first UK screen time guide.