Today, we cannot deny the fact that we cannot live without our smartphones. Whenever we wake up in the morning, do our work, or go to bed in the night the one thing that almost works like reflex is checking our smartphone screen. We have to somehow agree that we are addicted to it.
However, all of us definitely need some time of our own to grow ourselves in a humane way such as checking out the beautiful sunrise, feeling the fresh air, or doing our work uninterrupted. Whatever stops us from doing such things might be considered stressful such as smartphone addiction. But do not worry. We have got some apps that will fully assist you in staying away from the smartphone screen and bring phone-life balance in your life. Let us check them out.
1. Forest: Stay Focused
This is an app that helps to reduce your phone addiction and keeps you focused on your work in the most innovative way. It essentially tries to improve your productivity. Forest is available on both iOS and Android.
After creating an account in the app, you will be required to set a timer by tapping “Plant”, which is the digital way of planting a seed in the forest. The timer depends on the time you need to do your particular task. You will have ten seconds to cancel or change the timer if you change your mind.
Once the timer starts, you will watch the seed gradually growing to a tree. In between, if you touch your smartphone to check any messages or Facebook and exit the app, you will receive a warning in the pop-up notification that your plant is going to die. If you do the same thing for the second time, the timer will be set off and you will have to start again.
The app will also help you stay motivated when the timer is on. It will send you pop-up notifications saying “Put down your phone!” or “Don’t look at me!” from time to time. It also allows you to play soothing music in the background to make you feel more relaxed. There is a browser extension available for the app, which you can use to do the same thing on your PC as well.
This is an app that has been featured by Google Play Store as an Essential App. It is also available on the App Store. The app is designed to track your time spent on smartphone screens so that you can understand your level of phone addiction.
SPACE categorizes phone addiction into four categories– boredom battler, social sticky-mitt, rabbit hole wanderer, and a busy bee. Based on the categorisation, you can set specific goals using tools such as excluding apps, notification blocking, and screen dimming to lower your phone usage. The app also helps you track the progress in achieving these goals over time.
The main purpose of the app is not to avoid using your phone but create a healthy use of it. In order to assist with that, it also provides tips to control your phone addiction.
This is an app that focuses mostly on identification of your smartphone addiction level by providing you with smartphone usage data individual app-wise, time-wise on daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. The usage data is presented in graphs and timelines so that you can understand the pattern of your addiction.
UBhind also helps you in controlling smartphone usage by limiting app usage. You can also set your phone usage time limit through the app, which will automatically lock the phone if you use it longer than the set time. The app is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
4. THRIVE AWAY
This is an app that provides you tools to control your smartphone usage sometimes even in the most drastic way. The app primarily works on tow modes – Thrive and Super Thrive. Under Thrive mode, you can block your calls, texts, notifications, and apps. However, there is an option to add important contacts to your VIP list from where you will continue to get calls or texts. The Super Thrive mode is the most drastic one. Once activated, it disallows you to access the phone or apps until the mode ends at your set time.
Apart from modes, THRIVE AWAY also features Auto Reply, App Control, and App Blocking options. The Auto-Reply option lets people know that you are staying away from your phone and the time when you’ll be back when they try to reach you. App control helps you gain control on the app usage by providing usage data. Lastly, App Blocking lets you set time for using the apps on your choice. Once you exceed the time limit, you won’t be able to use the particular app until 12 AM the next day.
5. AppBlock – Stay Focused
This is an app that helps you limit your smartphone usage and control smartphone addiction by providing you with various aspects of blocking applications. You can temporarily block your apps as per the time and date. Once you cross the set time limit, you can use your blocked apps again.
AppBlock also helps you creating app blocking profiles based on your Wi-Fi connection or location such as workplace and home. The profiles will get activated when the phone detects the pre-determined Wi-Fi connection or location. For example, you can limit your usage of social media app Facebook by setting a time limit on your work profile such as only 20 minutes of Facebook time during office hours.
The app can also disable notifications (email, apps, etc.) for a certain time to improve your concentration and productivity. There is a Strict Mode available in the app which locks your AppBlock settings and forcibly lets you control and limit your phone and app usage. This app is only available on the Google Play Store.