Offtime for Android wants to free us from our smartphones. A Berlin-based startup, the app lets you “switch off and tune out” while still allowing you access to the important things via controls set by you. You get to decide if and when a call from your spouse or boss is allowed through.
The app offers a few configured profiles, but with the ability to reconfigure and rename them as the user sees fit.
Configured profiles include “Focused Work’, “Family’, ‘Unplugging’ and a ‘New Profile’. For example the ‘Unplugging’ profile automatically mutes calls, texts and notifications and also restricts app access.
The profile can be activated and you can preset how long you’d like it to stay active. ‘Settings’ allows you edit what gets blocked more granularly. You can, for instance, allow a call through if it comes form the same number within 3 minutes of the last call or you can select key apps to remain available, such as your calendar or simply block Facebook for a while.
The app offers handy tracking via ‘My Insights’ which tracks your off time and displays it as an ‘Offtime Score’ and also show you your total usage over any given time period and other more granular insights.
The app is flexible and user friendly in that it allows you to deactivate any active Offtime profile by simply long-pressing the screen long-pressing and waiting a minute or a few other variations of the same thing, giving you instant control over your phone. If you feel this is too simple and you may cave, you can also disable this feature, making it harder to get back functionality on your phone.
Following a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2013, the app was developed in collaboration with the Institute of Psychology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. After the beta period and the initial four months of Preview, the official Offtime app was launched October 1st and is available in the Google Play Store.