Many of us feel we could do with much less screen time. Yet because of the addictive nature of our smartphones, putting a stop to overuse of them can feel difficult without help. iPhone and Android phones both have features available to help you reduce screen time, but there are also lots of free apps available to limit screen time as well.
The apps you can download on your smartphone usually will provide you with more features and settings than the built-in ones, so it’s worth looking into if you’re seriously considering cutting down on smartphone use.
Best Apps to Limit Screen Time
Listed below are some of the top apps available on both iPhone and Android to help limit your screen time.
When you open the Space app, it will immediately begin tracking how much time you are using your phone. It runs in the background and keeps track of how long your phone is open. It will also track how many times you unlock your phone during the day. You can see your average daily usage as well in graph form to see how your phone use changes over time.
Besides tracking phone use, you can also set goals within the app to reduce screen time. There are a bunch of other features in this app too, like setting an interruption notice after using your phone a certain length of time, dimming your screen when you’ve reached this time, or interrupting you if you’re unlocking your phone too often. If you need to use your phone regularly without Space’s features on, you can always pause the app too.
With Moment, you can track how long you are truly “in the moment” in your everyday life and not using your phone. It tracks both how much you use your phone, but also how long you go without using it once you keep it off for longer than 30 minutes.
There are some other features in this app like setting up a phone fast, or doing a 10-day screen time bootcamp to control your phone usage. If you want, you can also set up a family group or a friend group to collaborate and share phone usage goals.
This app keeps it pretty simple while still being a powerful tool to stay focused, and keep your screen time to a minimum.
If you don’t want a lot of bells and whistles in a screen time tracking app, RealizD does a good job of giving you everything you need without overwhelming you. The app will track how long you spend on your phone during the day, how many times you pick up your phone, and the longest amount of time you spent using your phone that day.
You can also see your phone usage over time, to give you an idea of your average screen time. RealizD also gives you the option to take a screen-free challenge, where you can set a timer to not use your phone for a certain amount of time.
If you’re a fan of turning mundane tasks into games, Flora does just that. You can set up a timer, choosing what you want to focus on, and plant a tree that will grow as the timer counts down. If you want, you can also set up a price that you’ll have to pay if you do break your focus time.
You can grow different trees from across the world, if you tap on the seedling you’ll see what types of trees are available for you to grow. Once you’re ready, you can press Start to begin your focus time. During this time, you can access a to-do list in order to keep track of your tasks. You can also pause the time if needed. As you reach new goals, you’ll unlock new trees to grow. Flora is a great app if you want to add a little fun to your normal productivity routine.
When it’s so easy to just open apps and get sucked into them, sometimes blocking them completely can be the best thing you can do to lessen your screen time. With Freedom, you can block certain apps and websites so that even if you’re tempted to access them, it’ll stop you before you can.
Once you create a blocklist, you can start a timed session where all the blocks you’ve set will be enforced. You can set this to any amount of time you want, and schedule it for certain times for future sessions. If you use the app for free you can have up to 7 trial sessions, but you’ll need to buy the premium version to have more as well as access all features of the app.
Limit Your Screen Time with These Apps
Although it might feel daunting at first setting out to lessen your smartphone use, getting some apps to help you can make it much easier, more rewarding, and you’ll be able to see your progress much more clearly.
The apps listed above are some of the best available for taming your screen time use, so try some of them out and see which one works best for you.