What to know
- Screen Distance is an iOS 17 addition that’s part of the iPhone’s Screen Time features.
- The feature is designed to protect users’ eyes from digital strain and prevent them from myopia risks in the long term.
- Screen Distance uses your iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to measure the distance between your face and the phone and check if you’re positioned at least 12 inches or 30 centimeters away from your iPhone.
At its annual developers’ conference, Apple introduced the next generation of operating systems to power its suite of devices. As usual, iOS 17 is at the core of all the major changes with features like Live Voicemail, message transcriptions, Live Stickers, StandBy mode, full-screen Live Activities, Interactive widgets, and so on.
One of the features that stand out among these additions is “Screen Distance”. It’s a health-centric feature that focuses on preventing eye strain and myopia from your iPhone’s screen. In this post, we’ll explain what Screen Distance is and how you can enable it inside iOS 17.
What is Screen Distance on iOS 17?
As part of the new health features rolled out to iOS 17, Apple is offering a Screen Distance feature to help users prevent eye strain and risks of myopia. The feature will leverage your iPhone’s TrueDepth camera (the one that also aids Face ID) to measure the distance between your face and the phone.
If Screen Distance detects that you’ve been holding your iPhone closer than 12 inches or 30 centimeters for a significant amount of time, it will prompt you to distance yourself from the iPhone’s screen. When your device detects that it’s being held under 12 inches away from your face, you will see the “iPhone is Too Close” message on the screen along with a suggestion that you should keep it at arm’s length to protect your eyesight.
Only when you hold your device farther away will you be able to close this message on the screen. When your iPhone detects that you’ve repositioned your face away from the device, you should see a Continue button on the screen tapping on which will let you return to your previous screen.
How to enable Screen Distance on iOS 17
Before you can enable Screen Distance on your iPhone, you need to make sure that you have updated your device to iOS 17 by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Note: At the time of writing, iOS 17 is only available as a developer preview, so we suggest you wait for a beta or public release to avoid running into issues or bugs in the software.
To enable Screen Distance on your iPhone, open the Settings app.
Inside Settings, scroll down and select Screen Time.
When the Screen Time screen shows up, tap on Screen Distance under “Limit Usage”.
If this is the first time you’re using this option, you should see the Screen Distance welcome screen explaining what this feature is. To proceed, tap on Continue at the bottom.
On the next screen, iOS will explain how Screen Distance works and the minimum distance you need to position yourself away from your iPhone. To continue with the setup, tap on Turn On Screen Distance at the bottom.
Screen Distance will now be enabled on your iPhone and you should see the Screen Distance toggle enabled.
That’s all you need to know about enabling and using Screen Distance on iOS 17.