Smartphone addicts trying in vain to switch off the screen for a just a few seconds are about to receive a dose of help in the shape of an app designed to help set limits on the time spent on devices.
Offtime, for Android devices, is hoping to help nomophobics [no-mobile-phone phobics] as well as anyone that is simply having a love affair with their smartphone to change their habits by using the app’s unique limiting functions.
The app tracks all activity on the smartphone before presenting in as a number of charts and insights with integrated app blocking and communications filters that allow you to switch off from work, family or friends for a little bit more me time.
"People are starting to notice they check their mobile devices all the time, not because they need to, but more out of habit. We want to help people become more aware of that," Michael Dettbarn, cofounder of Offtime, told Reuters. "We all love our digital devices. But every once in a while we want to take time off, which can be hard when everyone is so connected and you feel as though you're snubbing people or missing out.”
Users of the app can choose to turn off notifications from certain contacts as well as block them completely and a list of missed events is brought up by the app as soon as hibernation time is over.
"Soon we will have screens all around us, not just on our mobile devices, but also on the wall or on our wrists. It's not going to be tolerable to be distracted all the time, so we will need to come up with solutions," Dettbarn added.
There are a handful of other alternatives available including Moment, for iOS, which costs $4.99 [£3.10] and allows iPhone owners to set daily limits on the time spent on devices with reminders when they exceed this and Checky, which covers both iOS and Android.
Figures released back in 2012 showed that around 66 per cent suffer from the nomophobia phenomenon and with the increasing number of smartphones in circulation worldwide it’s clear that many will find significant solace in these kind of apps.