Spending way too much time on your Android device? Use an app for digital well-being to track your app usage and set app limits. Do you want some peace of mind? Block specific apps a bit with the Focus mode.
Setting an app timer in Android 9 and higher
Digital well-being is Google's screen time management function. It is available on Google Pixel phones, Android One devices (with Android 9 Pie and higher) and a limited number of other phones. After you have downloaded the Digital Wellbeing app to your device, it will be displayed as a setting item.
The Digital Wellbeing app controls how much time you spend on your phone. It tells you how often you have picked up your phone, how much time you have spent in a specific app and how many notifications you have received today.
You can use this information to make decisions about how much time you spend on your smartphone. The app also gives you tools, such as App Timer, to limit your use.
With App Timer you can limit how much time you can spend in an app. For example, you can set it so that you use YouTube only 30 minutes a day.
To do this, swipe down on the notification shadow and tap the gear icon to open Settings (or open it from the app drawer). Then tap on "Digital welfare and parental supervision."
In the Dashboard, scroll down to the YouTube app and tap the hourglass icon next to it.
Set the time limit in the pop-up and then tap "OK".
When your usage time is up, the app pauses. The icon on the home screen will be grayed out and you will not receive any notifications. The timer is reset the next day and the app is unlocked again.
Of course you can always go back to the Digital Wellbeing app and extend or turn off the timer whenever you want.
How to use the focus mode on Android 10
Android 10 comes with a built-in focus mode. As far as app blocking functions are concerned, this is still fairly simple. All you can do is select a number of distracting apps to pause when you turn on Focus mode.
It acts as a manual switch to block multiple apps at the same time. When writing this, you cannot schedule apps to automatically pause at a specific time of the day; however, this is possible with some third-party apps that we discuss below.
If you only need a quick switch to block apps, the focus mode is useful for you.
Open the Settings app and tap "Digital Welfare and Parental Control."
Tap "Show Your Data." "
Tap" Focus mode here. ”
Select the apps that you want to pause when you switch to Focus mode. Tap "Switch on now" to switch on the focus mode (you tap the same button to switch it off).
You can add a "Focus Mode" tile to the notifications panel if you do not want to go to the Settings app every time. To do this, open the notifications panel and tap the Edit button (which looks like a pencil).
Drag the "Focus Mode" tile to the active tiles section.
Now you can simply tap on the "Focus Mode" tile to switch this function on or off.
Alternatives to other Android phones
As we mentioned above, the digital well-being functions are only available on a handful of Google Pixel, Android One and other devices. Even on this, the Focus mode in Android 10 is quite limited.
What if you want to use these functions on other Android phones? Or what if you want to schedule focus mode to automatically block apps at specific times? You can do both with third-party apps.
Stay Focused is a screen time management app that shows you how to use your device. This allows you to limit your use in several ways. You can set a daily or hourly usage limit and block apps for specific time intervals or based on the number of launches.
After you open the app, you will be asked to grant usage access. Tap "Click to award" if you want to do this.
Tap "Stay focused."
Next, toggle "Allow access to use."
You will return to the app. Find the distracting app and tap the padlock icon next to it.
You can see all available options here. Tap "Daily usage limit".
In this screen, select the days of the week on which you want to maintain the limit, set the time limit and tap "Save."
You return to the apps list screen. Select an app and tap "Specific time intervals" in the control panel.
From here you can block an app for a specific time. Select the days of the week on which you want to maintain the limit, and then tap the plus sign (+) next to & # 39; In intervals & # 39 ;.
In the pop-up, select the times "From" and "On" and then tap "OK".
Now tap "Save". , if you try to open the managed app outside the times you specify, the Stay Focused app displays a welcome screen stating that you do not have access to it.
You can use the "Specific time intervals" function to create multiple schedules for the same app. For example, you can have a schedule for Monday through Friday and a different schedule for the weekend. Tap "Add schedule" in the control panel to add another schedule.
Stay Focused is a free, ad-supported app. You occasionally see banner and screen-filling advertisements. If you upgrade to the Pro version, ads are disabled and all functions are unlocked.
ActionDash is primarily a dashboard on which you can view the screen time of your device. It is a good replacement for the Digital Wellbeing app from Google. If you unlock the Pro version for $ 7.99, you have access to app limits and app blocker functions.
ActionDash integrates with ActionLauncher and offers a better user experience when it comes to viewing and managing device usage. The app has a cleaner interface that is similar to the Digital Wellbeing feature of Google.
After installing the ActionDash app and granting access access to the app, you will be taken to the home screen of the app. Tap "Get Plus" to unlock all functions.
When you have the Pro version of ActionDash, select an app from the device usage list and tap "App usage restrictions." ”
Set the app limit and then tap" OK ".
Return to the ActionDash dashboard and tap "Focus Mode". "
Select the apps here that you want to add to the focus mode, and then tap" Enable now "to enable it.
You can also set Focus scheduling mode. Tap the menu button (the three vertical dots) on the Focus mode screen.
Select "Schedule & # 39; s focus mode".
You see multiple ready-to-go presets.
If none of the presets offers what you want, tap "Add Schedule" to create a new one.
Select the days and start and end times. Tap "Back "to return to the" Schedule & # 39; s "screen.
You can now use multiple schedules & # 39; s for focus mode. You can also turn off any schedule, although you have to wait 20 seconds to deactivate a schedule that you have just set.
ActionDash blocks the app that you have automatically selected at the configured time and whenever you exceed the app timer limit.  We can also help if you want to use similar functions on your iPhone or iPad.