How Can I Stop Spending So Much Time on My Phone?

Once again, Google is pushing the envelope -- only this time, it's literal. The tech giant wants its cell phone users to be able to easily set their phones aside if they want a break, and Google's new app, known as "Envelope," is as simple as its name.

An app called Envelope (which also requires a printable envelope) can limit your smartphone to just making and receiving calls.
An app called Envelope (which also requires a printable envelope) can limit your smartphone to just making and receiving calls.

To use it, you also need to download, print, and cut out an envelope pattern supplied by Google. You then open the app, tuck your phone into the envelope and seal it shut. Until you take it out again, your phone is only good for making calls and checking the time.

The app might seem fairly simple and unnecessary, but considering the fact that at least 30 percent of the U.S. population never shuts off their phones, it might come in handy.

For now, the Envelope app works only on Google's Pixel 3A. MIT Technology Review said the app was promising but also pointed out a simple truth: "The best way to control your phone use isn’t necessarily to download more apps or flagellate yourself with shaming devices. Instead, we can create 'sacred' space or time away from the phone."

More fun with apps:

  • Cuddlr is an app similar to Tinder, only rated PG; it allows you to find others in your area who want to snuggle.

  • For silly fun, it's hard to beat the app Real Razor, which turns your phone into a mock razor, making it look and sound like you are getting rid of your beard.

  • If you like taking risks with your phone, try Send Me to Heaven, an app that encourages you to throw your phone as high as you can and catch it; it keeps track of heights.

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Discussion Comments

anon1003695

And these Idiots vote---God help us.

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