Your eyes are important, and this feature could alleviate eyestrain triggered by using your iPhone.
Zachary McAuliffeStaff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
ExpertiseWeb hosting, operating systems, applications and softwareCredentials
Apple software beta tester, "Helps make our computers and phones work!" - Zach's grandparents
The feature warns you when you're holding your iPhone or iPad too close to your face, sort of like having a parent tell you to sit farther back from the television or computer screen. Although having a screen near your face might not harm your eyes, it could stress and irritate them, according to health care organization Cedars-Sinai. Thankfully, this new iOS 17 feature aims to help you reduce eyestrain, and according to Apple, it could even lower the risk of myopia, or nearsightedness.
Here's how to turn Screen Distance on and give your eyes a break.
1. Open Settings. 2. Tap Screen Time. 3. Tap Screen Distance.
Then you'll see two screens explaining what Screen Distance is and how it works. Tap Continue on both screens, and Screen Distance automatically turns on after these screens. Both screens appear only the first time you go into Screen Distance.
Now, after holding your iPhone too close to your face for a few minutes, your screen gets blocked by a message reading, "iPhone May Be Too Close."
Your screen remains blocked until you hold your iPhone farther away. Then, your screen shows a check mark, and you have to tap Continue to remove the block.
Screen Distance is a useful iOS feature that may reduce eyestrain and even decrease the risk of nearsightedness. However, if you find the warnings more annoying than helpful, here's how to turn Screen Distance off.
1. Open Settings. 2. Tap Screen Time. 3. Tap Screen Distance. 4. Tap the toggle next to Screen Distance.
Now you can go back to holding your iPhone as close to your face as you want without interruption from your phone -- or your parents.