As most parents have found out, limiting their child’s screentime on an iPad, iPhone or iPod can be challenging. Rahul Deshpande has come up with an interesting solution with his app, Kaboom – App Timer.
The Kaboom timer allows the parent to set two limits on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch – a play time limit and a rest time limit. The play time limit determines how long the child can play on the device and the rest time limit determines how long they must wait before they can play again on the same device.
It has been a challenge for developers to come up with solution to time limits on the Apple devices due to the way that Apple has designed the operating system. Most of the current solutions are easily worked around (or hacked) by even the most moderately savvy kids. Mr. Deshpande has come up with a pretty clever solution to that using the built-in notification system.
Once the play timer has expired, the child will receive a banner alert letting them know. During the rest time, if they try to leave the Kaboom app, it will send another alert which redirects them back to the Kaboom app. They may (and probably will) persist, but the popup messages will keep turning them back to app.
There is a parental lock feature in the app that will keep prying fingers off of the timer settings as well.
The key to all of this working is in the setup. When the app is first installed, you must be careful to follow the instructions to turn on the notifications for the app. Once this is done, the app should be a great tool for setting and keeping time limits on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
The one downside is that during rest time – the device cannot be used for non-gameplay by the child. We like to have ours read a while after playing. This app would keep them from being able to read during the resting period. Despite that, it still seems like a good way to control screen time.