There’s no easy way to tell someone they’re an addict, and especially if the addiction involves something as personal and useful as a smartphone. But we all know the victims of this vicious disease, heads down, monosyllabic conversations, avoiding eye contact for minutes at a time. And that’s just at breakfast.
Now there’s a hope of relief from a new beta app called BreakFree. The free app, available for Android and Apple, offers a suite of tools which you can use to break your addiction to the small screen on your handset, and hopefully lead you blinking into the sunlight.
The key part of the app is a daily addiction score, which charts just how much you’re tied to your phone. The higher the score the worse things are. But the unique bit is the fact that it will warn you if you’re spending too much time glued to a particular app (are you listening Facebook users?) and suggest that you take a break.
The app will also reward you for trying to break your habits, by awarding prizes depending on how well you do in stopping your excessive use, and you can set it up to disable specific parts of the phone’s functionality (such as incoming calls and texts) so you can get some rest and recuperation. Very clever indeed.
In addition the app can also be used to monitor and control the use of a phone by children, although we’re pretty sure it’s not wise to let very young kids have a mobile phone anyway, for all sorts of reasons we won’t go into here. Anyway, this is definitely a nice attempt to help deal with a serious problem, and we applaud the effort.