Josh Guest

Managing Director

16th May 2014

Addicted to apps

Thoughts By 3 years ago

Its 12pm and in the 6 hours since waking up, I have spent 2 hours on my mobile. Switching off is becoming increasingly difficult thanks to the numerous Apps all vying  for my attention. Internet and mobile addiction isn’t simply attributed to World of Warcraft gamers, but now extends to most of us.

Thankfully there are Apps available that monitor your mobile usage beyond simply data and battery time.

BreakFree

The App provides a score between 0 and 100, the latter being complete phone addiction. The idea is to monitor the specific App usage in minutes, then based on your awareness adjust behaviour. Surprisingly having this knowledge then triggered me to use another great feature, which allows you to toggle the phone to silent, cut data and auto text message incoming callers for a specified period of time. A really great way to switch off and focus on your day. You can download it here on Google Play  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mrigapps.andriod.breakfree.deux

Screenshot_2014-05-16-12-04-17Screenshot_2014-05-16-12-04-52

 

Menthal

From the Google Play Screengrabs this App has a much better UI and layout than BreakFree. However after numerous login attempts and sign ups I wasnt able to get the App going (please comment on your experience). You can download it here on Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=open.menthal

Screenshot_2014-05-16-12-26-41Screenshot_2014-05-16-12-27-06

 

What about iOS?

Monitoring the activity on a phone requires some low level code, and Android as a platform allows developers more freedom in terms of gathering data across Apps. iOS on the other hand locks apps down at a system level making it difficult to achieve the same results that these Apps have, so don’t expect an App like these any time soon on iPhone.

Why is switching off important?

Recent research shows that in a population of users, 73% feel panicked if they misplace their mobile. Our reliance on mobile can be unhealthy, but with responsible usage it can enhance our productivity instead of inhibit it. Consider the use case for wearable such a Pebble or Google Glass, and how small notifications can reduce FOMO (fear of missing out) and keep us connected to the Apps and services we love.

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