5 Android Apps to Curb Your Smartphone Addiction

If you feel you've spent too much time on your smartphone and are distracted from your work, then it's probably best to take a bold step to cut down on your smartphone usage. You can concentrate on your tasks and get the best out of yourself instead of wasting several hours on your favourite social network (or playing Candy Crush).

The most effective way to do this would be to get rid of your smartphone altogether and get a feature phone. If you use only the basic features, such as making calls or text messaging, then that may be the way to go.

But let's face it, replacing your smartphone with a dumb one is not practical for many people. However, there's still a way to cut down the number of hours wasted, and that is by using apps that will track your smartphone usage and block activity when necessary so that you can spend more time doing useful things. (It's kind of sad, though, that you need a mobile app to prevent you from using your mobile phone.).

All the apps listed here can be used for free, so take your time to investigate each one to see which apps will be most effective for your situation.

1. Checky


Checky simply shows how many times you've checked your phone each day with the hope that by being aware of how often you pick up your phone you can decide to make changes to your smartphone habits if you feel it's necessary.

Price: Free.

2. Quality Time


Quality Time is a neat application that offers a detailed report on your smartphone usage on a daily basis. It displays a very interesting timeline view so you can see the activities on your smartphone from morning to night and compare it to the previous day or week. The app will also show you how many times you unlocked your phone, your most-used apps each week and more. Another feature is the ability to create profiles that restrict you from using certain apps or that block incoming calls or notifications. Overall, it's a very useful application if you want detailed metrics about your smartphone usage every day.

Price: Free

3. Forest


This application has its own unique method of keeping your attention away from your phone to stay focused on your task. Whenever you want to focus on your work, you will plant a seed in the app. Within a set number of minutes, your seed will grow into a tree. However, if you use another app within the set amount of minutes, your tree will wither away and die. Every day you will have a forest filled with healthy trees (or withered twigs) depending on how faithful you are. If that cannot motivate you to keep off your phone whenever it's time for serious work, I don't know what will.

Price: Free

4. Break Free


Break Free monitors your smartphone usage and notifies you when you might need to take a break. It also gives you an addiction score which apparently is a measure of how addicted you are to your smartphone (lower is better). Break Free also offers useful metrics that can help you cut down on the number of times you use each of your apps, and you can even save out entire blocks of time by using the built-in phone management tools to stop calls, notifications, or turn off Internet access altogether. Most of the features are free of charge, but you can upgrade to Pro for added features and to remove ads.

Price: Free / $1.50

5. App Detox


App Detox allows you to get really specific about the apps you want to block at certain periods of the day and setting time limits for app usage. For example, you can block out Whatsapp during work hours but leave Slack untouched and vice versa during weekends or holidays. You can also track how often you use each of your apps and for how long so that you can force yourself into spending less time on your phone. The app will also stop you from using the selected apps whenever the set limit has been reached.

Price: Free

Let us know which smartphone addiction app you've decided to use and if there are any other apps you find useful for this purpose in the comments below.

Ayo Isaiah

Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.

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