We all pick up our smartphones hundreds of times each day. Even though we may only swipe to unlock for a few seconds, those seconds and minutes spent staring at your phone add up. Developer Kevin Holesh decided to create a new app called Moment, that tracks your phone usage through the day to give you an idea of just how bad your iPhone addiction is. Once you see how much you use your iPhone in a single day, Holesh is confident that you’ll join iPhone Addicts Anonymous and start setting limits for your smartphone use.
The Moment app is designed to give you the extra push that you need to spend more time in the real world with actual people. It’s free when you first download it, but to get the most out of the app and actually curb your iPhone addiction, you’ll have to pay $1.99. The in-app purchase lets you set daily smartphone use limits and helps you track your iPhone usage with warning notifications when you’re fast approaching or have already gone over your allotted smartphone use for the day.
The freemium aspect of the app is sure to annoy a lot of people and it certainly begs the question, why not just make it a $1.99 app in the first place? After all, the free app only tells you how much you use your iPhone, telling the app when to track your phone use, and track your location. Like a scale, the free version simply measures the excess, but doesn’t help you do anything about it.
Of course, once you pony up the $1.99, you get access to everything and Moment actually tries to help you tear your eyes away from your iPhone. Once you set your usage goal for say, 40 minutes, the app sends you quick notifications every now and then, letting you know when you’re getting close to your limit. Then, once you’ve hit your limit, the app tells you and encourages you to put the phone down and just walk away.
The app’s creator says his app has already helped cut his iPhone use down from 75 minutes a day to just 40 minutes. Meanwhile, the debate over the impact of gadget use on social interactions rages on. Some say that technology is driving us further apart and putting a wedge between us and the real world, but others, like Google, say that technology exists to enrich our experience with the world, not devalue interactions. Only time will tell who’s right.
In the meantime, you can download Moment in the iOS App Store to test your limits.