| Cult of Mac

10 tricks to kick your iPhone addiction


Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Here are my tips for spending less time on your phone.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How can you make your iPhone less addictive? Constant iPhone use can literally change the makeup of your brain. Sure, people waved similar panic flags about the television, the radio and even the novel, but those were easily left at home. You carry the internet with you, and it’s constantly blasting a firehose of content, everywhere you go.

If you feel the impulse to unlock your iPhone at every empty moment, or scroll through an app when you feel like you should be getting to bed, here are my tips for making your phone a bit more boring.

Simple security hack keeps your iCloud account safe from iPhone thieves


Can’t touch this (iCloud account)
Is this what the prolific Mr. Hammer was singing about? No.
Image: Jonathan Cutrer/Flickr/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Taking a moment to add an extra passcode to your iCloud account might save your skin if your iPhone is ever stolen by a shady character who’s eyeing you like a hawk. By default, your iPhone passcode is all someone needs to lock you out of your devices and wreak financial havoc on your life. And it’s not that difficult to capture your passcode if you tap into your phone in a public place.

In fact, a recent spate of coordinated scams have played out like this: A spy watches for anyone entering their iPhone passcode in a bar or other public place. Then, the device is yoinked out of the victim’s hands. And before they can do anything, they find themselves locked out of their own iCloud account. Soon, the criminals who stole the iPhone proceed to make unauthorized purchases, empty bank accounts and generally wreak havoc on the victim’s finances and personal life.

Luckily, setting up a second passcode just for iCloud can protect you from this type of criminal operation. I’ll show you how to keep these thieves at bay — and offer some additional advice for keeping your account secure.

Instagram quietly makes its daily usage limits less limiting


Instagram usage limits
The 10-minute option is gone.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Instagram addicts will have to rely on self control if they want to keep their browsing time to under 30 minutes a day after the photo sharing platform quietly made its usage limits less limiting.

It was previously possible to restrict yourself to just 10 minutes of Instagram per day within the iPhone app. Now 30 minutes is the smallest time limit.

Researchers find no link between tech and teen mental health


In December, Apple will offer free coding classes to teach kids and teens.
Teens spend plenty of time using tech. Is it hurting them?
Photo: Apple

A new study suggests that there is “little evidence” for the supposed link between technology and problems with mental health among teenagers.

The study, carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute, cross-referenced longitudinal viewing and usage habits with depression, behavioral problems, and even suicidal tendencies among 430,000 people between the ages of 10 and 15.

AnyUnlock helps you out of jams with your Apple device, iTunes and Apple ID passwords


iMobie AnyLock
With AnyUnlock, your password troubles are over.
Photo: iMobie

This Apple device access post is presented by iMobie, maker of AnyUnlock.

It was bound to happen sometime, or maybe many times. You got locked out of your Apple device. Or you lack access to your iTunes backup. Or you want to reset your Screen Time or Restrictions passcode.

Here’s the good news about any of these little crises: Getting back in without resetting and erasing your data is a snap with iMobie’s AnyUnlock app. You can do it with no technical knowledge.

Crafty kid uses clever trick to watch YouTube despite iPhone restrictions


youtube on a phone
Here's how to do it.
Photo: Szabo Viktor/Unsplash

Apple makes technology so intuitive that even a kid can pick it up and use its basic features without too many problems. But they probably shouldn’t be able to find feature-breaking bugs, right?

According to a recent Reddit post, an 8-year-old kid was able to find a workaround to the Screen Time restrictions that let parents block out access to apps like YouTube. This feature was introduced in iOS 12 to record the amount of time users spend looking at their devices. It also lets parents better control what their offspring are doing on an iOS device.

Well, at least it does in theory…

Apple reportedly adding Kids Mode and Screen Time to tvOS 14; 128GB Apple TV in the works


Apple TV Siri Remote
Reported new features of tvOS 14 and a new Apple TV box are leaking out.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In tvOS 14, Apple reportedly plans to give parents new controls over what their children watch on Apple TV devices. The tvOS update also will give parents the ability to control the amount of time their kids spend watching Apple TV content, according to a report published Monday.

Israeli website The Verifier also renewed speculation that Cupertino will announce a new 128GB Apple TV streaming device later this year. And it could come with a new Apple TV remote design.

You should really stop checking your phone all the time


stop checking phone
It's hard not to pick up your iPhone all the time.
Photo: Tyler Lastovich/Unsplash

Your iPhone is amazing. And that’s part of its problem. Every time you’re at a loose end, waiting in line, or just think that you’re bored, you pull it out and graze those Home screen icons to find something that might interest you.

This, you may not be surprised to know, is unhealthy behavior.

MRIs reveal smartphone addiction physically changes brains


screen time management
Is Screen Time doing enough to curb iPhone addiction?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone addiction might be creating physical changes in your brain, according to a new study. Researchers looked into smartphone addiction and how it correlates to structural and functional changes in the brain.

They conducted MRI scans on 48 people, 22 of whom had smartphone addiction (SPA). The study found that SPA alters the brain in a way similar to what doctors see in drug addicts. The findings only get worse from there.