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Total time used exceeds the limits set

If your child can use the app for longer time than you set up
Written by Denis
Updated 3 months ago

Currently we have 3 known cases when users may complain that their total time has not been calculated properly:

  1. A configuration issue

  2. Misunderstanding of the counting

  3. A probable miscalculation on the server side

  4. Children know the parent’s PIN

1. A configuration issue

There exist a well-known issue with the majority of Chinese manufacturers when the system kills 3rd-party apps in the background or after reboot if there were no special settings applied.

There is more information about the issue in this section.

2. Misunderstanding of the counting

Some users don't get why the overall screen time is more than it was allowed by time limits. Usually, it's related to the logic of counting. We don't add whitelisted apps, system apps and app overrides (extra time allowed by parents) towards the final sum.

3. A probable miscalculation on the server side

There were a few cases when the overall time was less than the presented parts. At the current moment we need more information about similar cases.

4. Children know the parent’s PIN

If children know the PIN, they can access apps at any time using it. In this case the time is recorded in the same way as it happens in a normal state, but kids can exceed time limits. We are able to prove this by analyzing dev logs.

5. Children use screen recorders or any software with overlay views

Screen recorders may influence our ability to trace apps activity. This happens because they often use overlays to show controls or for other goals. Those overlays "hide" real activities under them and prevent us from getting accessibility events in a normal way. The same may happen with any other applications which use overlays on the Home screen.

Users need to stop using such software to prevent that. Another option is to disable the Draw over other apps feature for such apps. Usually, the apps are able to work without it but with lesser number of features.

What can be done:

  1. Check if the children use devices with configuration issues. The truly affected devices usually don't have any information about the recent apps activity. Look at the list of recommendations and configure your devices properly.

  2. Check if the children use any screen recording software. This may prevent us from processing all necessary events for time counting.

  3. If you see there some activity and/or the devices aren't in the affected list. Let us know how you determined that kids use apps more than allowed? If you see it in the parent app, Google Family Link or some other app then it gives us a clue what can be wrong. Send us a screenshot of the data.

  4. If you use information from the parent app, then check if any whitelisted apps were used or app overrides. This might be the reason why numbers don't match together.

  5. If there are no such issues but still the overall time doesn't match, then report it to our support team with an appropriate comment.

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