Screenshot interval frequency explained
Last updated: September 6, 2023
How Truple randomly captures screenshots
Truple captures screenshots "randomly", yet we allow you to specify an average delay between screenshots. For example, the lowest average delay we allow is every 30 seconds. This means screenshots will be captured with a random amount of time in between them ranging from 15 seconds to 45 seconds. The randomness makes it so no one can predict when the next screenshot will be captured. The randomness is uniformly distributed, roughly meaning that for every 15 second wait, there will be a 45 second wait to match it. For every 25 second wait, a 35 second wait to match. And so on. This makes it so the average time between screenshots will be 30 seconds.
Truple's goal is not to monitor every action taken on the device. Our goal is to enable parents to periodically peek over their loved ones' shoulders virtually. It mimics the old wisdom of having the computer in a "public place" in the home, where Mom and Dad can keep tabs on how the device is being used by literally looking over the child's shoulder. Periodically peeking allows the user to maintain a degree of privacy, but makes it so any behaviors (repeated actions) will be detected eventually and reported to Mom and Dad.
Measuring Truple's capture rate
We'll occasionally hear from a customer that Truple isn't capturing screenshots often enough. They'll often look at the timestamps of screenshots and then make that conclusion. The problem with this, is it doesn't account for all the times that Truple intelligently doesn't capture screenshots. Below is a breakdown of the most common times Truple doesn't capture screenshots.
- Screen off - When the screen is turned off, the screenshot timer is paused and Truple won't capture any screenshots. Once the screen turns back on, the timer is resumed.
- Idle device - Truple monitors user interactions on the device. If the device isn't interacted with for 5+ minutes, Truple will consider the device is idle and pause screenshots from being captured until the user interacts again with the device.*
- Whitelisted apps/websites - Truple makes a best effort to whitelist banking, healthcare, and government apps/websites.
* Note: On Android, when using certain games designed with very specific gaming engines, it can cause the game app to capture all user interaction and the game engine doesn't pass those interactions on to the operating system and thus on to Truple. When this happens, the device will report that it's idle once the game has been played for 5 minutes pausing screenshots from being captured. Then Truple will exit idle state and capture screenshots again once the game is closed and another app used.
If you want to measure how often Truple is capturing screenshots to determine if it's working properly or not, you'll want to look at the event timeline. The event timeline will show when the screen is turned on or off, when screenshots were captured, when they weren't captured with a description explaining why they weren't captured, and more.