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In Screen Time introduces in iOS 12, part of the report is a graph for “Pickups”. What are these?

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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.)

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It’s the number of times that you have picked up the device to explicitly interact with it. The following interactions count:

  • accelerometer
  • screen unlock
  • hey Siri
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    What counts as being “picked up”? Like, the accelerometer detected it vertically moved? That the display turned on? That I showed the home screen? Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 16:46
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It must be the time that the display is turned on because it is telling me that I got pickups in the middle of the night while I was asleep which was probably me getting notifications and the notifications turning my phone's display on.

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  • Mine also shows pickups while I’m asleep. I thought I had a ghost using my phone. It must be the notifications coming through.
    – Anita
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 14:10

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