How do I make my Galaxy S5 distraction-free?
May 14, 2015 5:12 AM   Subscribe

I recently got my first smartphone - the Galaxy S5 - and having the web and email on my phone is way too distracting. I want to make my phone distraction-free (inspired by the distraction-free iPhone). Basically I want to stop myself from constantly checking my email and surfing the on my phone, but retain the ability to use email and the web if I really need them when I'm out. Any ideas on how to make my Galaxy S5 distraction free?

I was able to deal with apps like Facebook by uninstalling them, but I can't uninstall Chrome, Google Search, or Gmail. I can disable them, but it is way to easy to enable them. I tried the FocusON app, and while it is close to what I need it doesn't quite cut it. It allows you to create a block which blocks certain apps until you disable the block, which you do by typing a 3-sentence enable text. The first problem with this is that disabling the block deletes it - you can't temporarily disable the block. Also I don't like having to type the text to disable the block, although I'm not sure how I would prefer to disable a block - it should be a hurdle to jump over, but I'm not sure what hurdle would be best.

I would like an app which blocks certain other apps, but where you can temporarily enable an app by jumping through some kind of hoop. When I enable the app temporarily I'd like to be able to choose how long I want to have it enabled (ex. 30 minutes) and then have the ability to extend that time once it expires. But if I don't extend it, the app should go back to being locked after the time has passed. If there is another method to get the job done however, I'm all ears!
posted by catquas to Technology (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Do you still want to be able to review received email? If not, you could just turn off mobile data when you want to be distraction free, then turn back on. (You could use airplane mode, but that turns off calls too).

You can download a widget that will allow you to do that from the home screen, like Beautiful Widgets.
posted by selfnoise at 7:24 AM on May 14, 2015

Turn off WiFi and mobile data?
posted by DarlingBri at 8:03 AM on May 14, 2015

Response by poster: Good suggestions, but I want it to be distraction-free on a more permanent basis. That is, I want having the web and email enabled to be the exception, rather than distraction-free being the exception. I also want to be able to use maps all the time, and blocking wifi and data would block maps. Any suggestions which would work along those lines?
posted by catquas at 8:26 AM on May 14, 2015

You can enable ultra power saving mode. But if you still want maps you'll need to be rooted.
posted by zinon at 9:13 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

You can turn off notifications in settings.
posted by brujita at 10:48 AM on May 14, 2015

Best answer: I don't know if this works for Gmail but maybe you could try something like app lock (free) which allows you to lock the distracting app or apps and for which you have to input a password for access. The password length seems unlimited (yet number only) so you could create whatever height of hurdle you want.
Write down your random number password somewhere and take a picture of it so you have a record that you can't just copy/paste into the app.
posted by guy72277 at 7:19 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

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