And one app to rule them all
June 24, 2013 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Is there an iOS app that will schedule accessibility and/or block access selectively to other apps depending on the time of day? I have an ipod touch 5g.

So the final hurdle in maintaining a normal sleep schedule is making my ipod useful for what I bought it for in the first place (a variety of sleep apps and access to online drone music) while making it impossible for me to distract myself with other shiny stuff. If I simply cannot get to sleep I do have a Kindle and a headlamp next to my bed so there is no need for me to have access to Civ Rev or Safari or the 50 other apps that I'm able to check/play "just for a minute."

Is there an app that can either block other apps on a schedule, or, ideally, only allow certain apps on a schedule? I'd love to block absolutely everything except for some of my music-specific and podcast-specific apps from, say, 9 PM to 5 AM.

I'm not talking just blocking internet access. I have plenty of stuff on my ipod that distracts me just fine without access to the rest of the world, so I would really need to just shut everything down except for a very few select apps. And, of course, I still require internet access for some of the sleep apps I use. I have found that I get bored with the ones that don't access the internet, and I lay in bed and get annoyed that I've now identified the precise loop that I'm hearing the thunder roll in. I've actually found that listening to news broadcasts in languages I don't understand is really effective for getting me to sleep, so I'd like to retain access to that if possible.

Other ideas for maintaining good sleep hygiene in regards to not being tempted by my ipod are also welcome if no such app exists.

posted by tllaya to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's a jailbreak tweak but it didn't actually work for me. And it only lets you attempt to block one app.
posted by egypturnash at 5:48 PM on June 24, 2013

Not without a jailbreak. Apps cannot control other apps except that apps can sometimes open other apps. Prevent them from opening is just not a thing you can do.
posted by chairface at 6:10 PM on June 24, 2013

Best answer: This is technically possible, but not with any App you'd be able to download through the iTunes Store. The way to do it is with something called a Mobile Device Management solution. Apple's OS X Server includes one, and with it you can apply a configuration profile that restricts certain apps, modifies the parental controls, etc.

The trick is then scheduling that configuration profile to be applied during certain hours. I don't know that the UI offers this natively, but I bet you can script it if you are tech savvy enough to dig into the internals of the system.

There are other MDM solutions, with a richer feature set, but they will cost more. The OS X Server app is $20 and probably the most basic, straight forward MDM solution out there.

Or you could jailbreak it and try some of the unapproved apps.
posted by sbutler at 8:14 PM on June 24, 2013

Response by poster: Cool! Now to get my tech-savvy brother to obsess about this...
posted by tllaya at 12:28 AM on June 25, 2013

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