Apple has recently confirmed the presence of a bug in its iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices that impacts the Screen Time feature, which allows parents to set restrictions on their kids' device usage.
The bug affects a function called Downtime, where parents can remotely schedule hours when their children are unable to use their devices.
According to The Wall Street Journal, some users are reporting that Screen Time settings are being unexpectedly reset, resulting in deleting scheduled time or reverting to previous settings. This unintentional reset allows children to use their devices without following the limits set by their parents.
In response to the reports, an Apple spokesperson stated, "We are aware that some users may be experiencing an issue where Screen Time settings are unexpectedly reset. We take these reports very seriously and we have been, and will continue, making updates to improve the situation."
About 2,300 people on on an Apple discussion page have reported facing this bug, suggesting that it's affecting a significant number of users.
Interestingly, Apple had previously claimed to have fixed the issue with the release of iOS 16.5 in May. However, The Wall Street Journal's investigations found that the bug persisted in subsequent releases, including the iOS 17 beta.
Screen Time was introduced by Apple at its developer's conference in 2018, providing parents with tools to monitor their children's device usage and manage app access. The feature allows parents to view their kid's Activity Report and set specific time limits for app usage. Additionally, the Downtime function enables parents to block all apps except for selected software and phone calls during specified hours.
Apple has not provided a specific timeline for the bug fix release.