Facebook and Netflix binges sucking up your life? Xooloo to the rescue

smartphone addiction 3 net
When a significant number of Americans freely admit they’d rather give up sex then their smartphones, and twice as many would rather give up drinking than detatch for a week, you know there’s a problem. A French import is here to help us get our sex lives back and let drinkers get back to the booze.

The Xooloo apps were originally and primarily intended to help parents train their children how to manage their digital time. There are three apps: Xooloo Kids for children 8 and under, Xooloo Digital Coach for people 10 and above, and Xooloo Parents. If you’re considering using the Digital Coach app software to manage your own usage, the idea of parental oversight may set your jaw on edge, even though you truly want to cut back. A good plan would be to think of it as an accountability buddy app. Digital Coach lets people self-regulate their usage of apps, social media, and the internet; there’s no app blockage or site screening, although all usage is tracked by both Digital Coach and Parent apps.

You can monitor real-time tracking with Digital Coach as usage piles up. Set limits for overall use and for specific apps, sites, or programs. When the time’s up the Digital Coach shuts off access unless more time is allotted from the corresponding Parents app. Even if you act as your own accountability buddy — there’s probably an indelicate term for that — at least you’ll have to start up a different app to adjust the limits if you can’t stick to your original plan.

If you’re actually using Digital Coach with kids, there are reference metrics so both kids and parents can see how usage compares to other kids and teens. For example, you can see how much time 14-year olds in your area spend on Instagram. That sounds a little creepy if you’re using Digital Coach for yourself or as an accountability buddy for another adult, but kids — and parents — can get a realistic view of age, app, and region-based metrics.

The Xooloo Kids app is definitely kids-only. It’s for children who don’t have their own devices but get to use a parent’s device: it builds a safe and personalized space with approved apps, games, contacts, and secure, controlled browsing.

The Xooloo Parents (accountability buddy) app is available for both iOS and Android. Xooloo Kids and Digital Coach are Android-only for now. In any case there’s a free 30-day trial followed by $3 a month or $30 a year for 1 device running either the Kids or Digital Coach app, $5 a month or $50 annually for 3 devices, and $7 a month or $60 a year for an unlimited number of Digital Coach or Xooloo Kids apps running on devices. The Parents App is free in all cases.

Deals

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Go expansions, the robocall onslaught, more

On this episode of Digital Trends' live morning show, Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Jeremy Kaplan explored the news of the day, including Amazon Go's potential expansion, the robocall onslaught, and more.
Mobile

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.