PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Circle Media Labs Inc., the #1 comprehensive screen time management solution, announced its new Focus Time feature. With Focus Time, parents finally have an easy way to minimize online distractions and keep kids on task during online learning and homework.

COVID-19 has caused screen time to skyrocket, with nearly half of American children spending more than six hours a day in front of a screen (a 500% increase since before COVID). In particular, the majority of students across the country are still participating in some form of distance learning, further increasing screen time and complicating parents’ desire to achieve balance between time online and off.

“At Circle, our goal is to make screen time management as easy as possible, and we believe the Focus Time feature gives parents and kids the tools they need to succeed,” said Anne Bryan, Circle Chief Executive Officer. “After hearing about our customers’ struggles to be both parent and teacher while trying to work remotely, we built this new essential tool. We’re proud to make parents’ lives easier while they support distance learning.”

Focus Time, which was released as a beta feature, makes it easy for parents running the Circle App on an iOS mobile device to specify designated “school hours,” during which children can only access websites, online tools and apps that they need for schoolwork, while blocking everything else.

When using Circle Home Plus hardware along with the Circle iOS App, Focus Time can be applied to any Internet-connected device within a home network, including school-issued Chromebooks, other laptops and desktops, and any iOS or Android mobile device.The Focus Time feature includes a default list of recommended school-related apps, websites, and categories, which parents can customize based on their child’s specific needs. During Focus Time, children can access everything on the Focus Time list with no time constraints.

“My child is in the last year of school,” said one Circle user. “He requires access to one or more platforms for schoolwork, yet I would like to block other platforms in case of distractions.”

“I wish I could pause certain apps without pausing all access,” said another Circle user. “My daughter needs to use the Internet to do her homework, so I’d like to be able to use Circle to cut off her access to social media while she’s doing her schoolwork.”

Circle’s features, including content filters, time limits, and the ability to Pause the Internet®, set device Bedtimes and block specific apps, have already served as helpful tools for parents during shelter-in-place. By managing all Wi-Fi devices inside and mobile devices outside the home on any network, Circle offers a comprehensive solution to common screen time woes. The Circle website includes resources for parents and caregivers including advice from experts, a space to learn from other parents’ experiences, and a blog with timely tips about topics like screen time during social distancing.

About Circle Media Labs Inc.

Circle, with offices in Portland, Ore. and Cypress, Calif, is committed to its mission to make families’ lives better, online and off. We envision a world where families find balance, set healthy limits, build good habits, and get the best out of their digital experiences. Follow Circle on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Circle PR

Molly Antos

T: (847) 848-2090

Email: molly@dadascope.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a95e5065-8f83-4dff-b483-56cb84e8c492.