Moment Tracks How Much You Use Your iPhone

Android tells you how long the phone’s screen was turned on, how long were the apps active and the battery they consumed. All of this combined gives you a good sense as to how long you actually spent looking at your phone. While detailed app based battery stats are coming to iOS 8, it’s still not enough.

There is no straightforward way of finding out how long you spend looking at phone. Because of this, it is quite easy to overdo it; to get addicted to this tiny window to the wonders of the “interwebs“. If you find yourself constantly glued to the screen, forgoing opportunities to look up, you might already have a problem. But it’s necessary to put it in a scale that is understandable & actionable – numbers.

Moment is an app that tracks how much time you spend on your phone in a given day. If you allow the app to use Location Services and Background App Refresh, it will even track the locations at which your iPhone was used and will chart in on a map for you. Thanks to the closed nature of iOS 7, Moment uses workarounds to get this info. Which means it won’t always be accurate.

The developer of the app has put up a rudimentary flag at 60 minutes of use. Anything above that goes into the red zone and you get notified by an alarm. But you are free to specify your own boundaries, including banner notifications that sound off at every set interval of phone use ( 5 minutes being the standard). When I got my hands on the app it was free with IAP for notifications but now it’s all bundled up into one $3.99 app.

I’ve been using Moment for a few days now and other than the always on Location Services silently eating away my battery, there haven’t been any problems. The developer has worked hard to minimize the battery usage, but mine was still draining pretty fast — your experience can be different. As much as I like to see a detailed view of where exactly in the world I was looking at my phone, it’s just not worth the decreased battery life (or the privacy). The manual mode can be invoked once the automatic mode is off. But this being manual mode, you’ll have to tell the app when you’re done using your iPhone (and it gets annoying rather quickly).

With iOS being a closed system, Moment will never be spot on, but it’s close enough. It’s an app that doesn’t ask much from you. Just enable the app and forget about it. If you want to take action, you can task the app to remind you every couple of minutes you spend on your phone or to have an alarm go off when you’re over the daily phone use limit. To see how Moment works and tracks the phone’s use, check out the app’s website, the developer is pretty transparent about the topic. The app is available for $3.99 on the App Store.

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