I’m not sure how I feel about digital commitment devices. On the one hand, I’d like to believe that if I really didn’t want to open Facebook on my phone during work hours, I just wouldn’t open it. On the other hand, I know from personal experience that it isn’t always this easy.
AppCap is a tweak that allows you to set a limit on your usage on a distracting app, hopefully encouraging you to use it less…
What I like about AppCap is the sheer flexibility the tweak provides. You can set AppCap to limit apps based on the number of launches, the time the app is accessed, minimum duration between launches, the days of the week, and even have the launch restricted by what Wi-Fi network your device is on.
While AppCap can outright block apps from launching, it can also be set to gently remind you of your intent. At least in theory. I found that the pop up reminders in effect block Facebook from launching too. Of course, since this is a MobileSubstrate tweak, if you absolutely need to check a blocked app you can always disable AppCap through Safe Mode.
My biggest problem with AppCap is its limitation of working with one app at a time. You might be able to limit your activity on Facebook, but is that going to be of much help when I have Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and games to keep my sugar and ADHD-ridden brain off task? AppCap currently feels like a great proof of concept for a larger productivity tweak.
I’m not really a fan of disabling features and services I like, but if you’re looking for a little artificial willpower, give AppCap a try. The tweak is available for free in the ModMyi repo. Hopefully we’ll see support for locking down multiple apps in the future.
Would you find AppCap useful on your phone? Share your thoughts in the comments section.