For all their usefulness, there are times when I find my Android devices just too distracting!
I’ve tried various strategies to stop myself from being distracted by the applications, games and Google services that are available on my Android smartphone, including trying an iPhone, shutting down the data connections, disabling AutoSync or using an on-device Do Not Disturb option, but all of these have their own disadvantages. Mostly, I forget to re-enable the service when I need it again.
Now I have another option in the shape of an Android application, Focus out Distractions. This app allows the user to prevent other applications from being launched for a predetermined period of time but does not change the network connections or synchronization preferences. In other words, you still see your notifications but if you try to access them, the app stops you.
It’s a simple idea and it works well in practice, although there are a couple of rough edges. The first is that you must select each individual app from the list of everything on your device and it takes even a powerful handset several seconds to produce the list. The second is that you must do this each and every time you want to block access to an application.
Nevertheless, Focus out Distractions is a great way to help give yourself time to finish that project and prevent you from playing Angry Birds or replying to your buddies’ Hangout messages!