It is midnight, and I've wasted today :/
February 15, 2022 3:37 PM   Subscribe

I need a way to use my phone - Android - for podcasts and music only. What app will reliably block the internet? Games not an issue. Needs to block rather than just growing a tree for time away from phone. I've heard about Freedom. Is there a free alternative, or is it worth it?

Thank you.
posted by toucan to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Here's what I do (Motorola Android phone).

- Uninstalled most social media apps.
- Disabled the phone's built-in browser. When I'm on vacation and expect that I will need to use certain apps or the browser to look up travel information or whatever, I re-install or un-block them. When I get back home, I remove them.
- I also use my phone's built-in Digital Wellbeing app in two ways:
(1) I scheduled a daily "Focus" time in which selected apps are blocked. For me, this time encompasses bedtime and the early morning hours.
(2) I set different daily timers on various apps (10 minutes for Amazon, 10 minutes for Linkedin, etc). When time's up, the app is blocked for the rest of the day. As far as I can tell, there is no limit to the number of apps I can put timers on.
posted by Taro at 4:00 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]

I use freedom, and I think it’s worth it. Sometimes I use it unlocked (where I can change my mind) and sometimes if I need to be more hardcore, I lock it so I can’t change it until the session is over. I like that it allows these settings to work across my devices.
posted by umbú at 5:26 PM on February 15

Freedom is worth it. Unfortunately, I can’t go into details because it’s about to block everything on my phone (except Music) so I can get work done.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:38 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]

Unless I'm missing something, you may be able to set this up through customizing Focus Mode under Digital Wellbeing in Settings My phone offers a Work Time setting and a Me Time setting and a third setting I can name and customize differently.
posted by knile at 6:27 PM on February 15

Find an old Android phone, doesn't matter which carrier. Remove the SIM card. Connect it to local WiFi (so you can download podcasts). Turn WiFi off after downloading what you want to prevent using it for other purposes. Remove all apps but your podcast player/catcher of choice and your music app of choice (Note: on some phones some manufacturer-installed stuff is not uninstallable). Put your regular phone away from your workspace and use this new/old 'music player' for your purposes. I've got an old Blu phone and an old Samsung Galaxy S3 (which tells you how old) that I've repurposed in this way.
posted by TimHare at 8:38 PM on February 15

I would look into using Parental Controls and setting up an alternate user profile for this purpose. Another option. Also maybe look into setting up a work profile, but that might require some "enterprise" functionality not normally available to laypeople.
posted by rhizome at 9:08 PM on February 15

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