In Screen Time introduces in iOS 12, part of the report is a graph for “Pickups”. What are these?
The Verge says that pickup counting is triggered “when you’ve interacted with the device or on-screen content in some way. If all you do is turn on the screen, that’s not enough to get tallied.”
If you’re looking for first-party confirmation, it seems like (for now) there’s nothing useful from Apple. The only mentions of Screen Time pickups on their website describe it simply as “how many times a device was picked up,” or slight rewordings of that phrase. The WWDC 2018 keynote and Apple Support video on Screen time are similarly unhelpful.
(There were a dozen other tech blogs and websites that I also looked at, but all of them gave the same information as Apple, or less.)