Addicted to your smartphone? There’s an APP for that! Offtime locks your handset to stop it distracting you

The average phone user unlocks their device 63 times a day, for 2 hours 49 minutes each time - a minimum of three hours a day.
And in a move that might seem counter-intuitive, a Berlin-based psychologist has developed an app to help wean us off our gadgets.
Called Offtime, it limits which apps can be used to avoid distractions, or prevents people from contacting you unless in an emergency.
It doesn’t limit connectivity permanently, instead, users can enable Offtime mode for any time when they need to focus, or at set times during the day.
And there are various levels of customisation.
For example, all calls, texts and notifications can be blocked during Offtime.
Alternatively, users can pre-select so-called VIP contacts that are never blocked, and can get hold of the phone owner even when Offtime is enabled.
The app can be setup to send custom replies to anyone who tries to contact them during Offtime, and will record all messages and notifications until connectivity is restored – meaning users don’t miss anything, they just delay it.
By registering calls and texts, the app can also determine that if someone is trying to call repeatedly, it may be an emergency.
In this case, it will let the call through even if the number isn't listed as a VIP.
Elsewhere, the app either limits access to apps entirely, allows access to pre-selected apps, or just limits internet access on apps.
Plus, users can track their smartphone usage, including which apps they use the most, using Offtime's built-in analytics tool.

Offtime was developed by Berlin-based psychologist Alexander Steinhart, who recently commissioned the Institute of Psychology at Humboldt University to conduct a study into smartphone usage.
Over two weeks, the study analysed the patterns of 49 participants with an average age of 34 years


OFFTIME BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY
Offtime was developed by Berlin-based psychologist Alexander Steinhart, who recently commissioned the Institute of Psychology at Humboldt University to conduct a study into smartphone usage.
Over two weeks, the study analysed the patterns of 49 participants with an average age of 34 years.
During the first week of the study, ‘normal’ smartphone usage was tracked.
In the second, so-called 'intervention' week, participants used Offtime for at least two hours a day.
The use of Offtime boosted mental detachment from work after a week, by 8 per cent.
It also led to higher work motivation; in comparison to the first week, this increased by 5 per cent among participants.


The app is designed to let you unplug without missing urgent matters,’ explained Mr Steinberg.
‘It lets you whitelist contacts who able to pierce through your downtime, like your spouse or children, but otherwise shuts down apps, calls, texts, and emails.
‘It can also auto-respond to incoming messages on your behalf, while maintaining a careful activity log of everything you missed while away so you can quickly catch up.’
The free app is available for Android. The developers said they are working on an iOS version.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2814488/App-Offtime-people-addicted-smartphones.html#ixzz3TM1DneuV
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