While we love loads of things that technology enables, it’s hard to ignore the increasing frequency that people around us spend staring blankly at their phones.
BreakFree is an Android app looking to change that by giving you feedback on exactly how you use your phone by tracking things like how often you unlock your screen, how long you spend on calls, and which apps demand the most of your attention – although this is reserved for the $1.99 premium version. We looked at the free version here.
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As well as providing you with data, the aim is to actually get you to use your phone less. To that end, there’s a tools menu which allows you to set a schedule for doing things like disabling sounds or the internet, and auto-rejecting calls. If you use this latter option, you can also set the text for an auto-responder SMS to be sent.
And for those of you who need a little encouragement (or admonishment), there’s also a notification system providing you with appropriate messages related to your ‘addiction score.’ Currently the little guy (above) seems happy with me, but I fear for the future.
There’s also a list of achievements aiming to keep you motivated in the longer term. Navigating between each section is easy, just tap the icon at the top or scroll left and right.
It’s an interesting idea: providing an app – and therefore one more thing to keep tabs on – to encourage you to use your phone less. Surely, if it’s successful, BreakFree users will become decreasingly frequent users?
In the future, the company tells us that it will be adding a social angle to the app in order to encourage users to ‘BreakFree’ with their friends, providing motivation and challenges along the way.
Obviously, to get the most out of BreakFree you’ll need to keep it installed for a while in order to generate enough data to draw averages across weeks or months. So, for me, it’s early days.
BreakFree isn’t the only ‘anti-smartphone addiction’ app for Android, there’s things like Menthal, Phone Addict and widgets like Nomophobia, all of which can provide some insight into your usage, if you so wish.
While I won’t be paying for the upgrade to BreakFree premium just yet, it’s worth checking out the free version if you’re getting a little worried about how frequently your phone is in your hand.
Featured Image Credit – Shutterstock