Drop everything and download: THRIVE

Learn to ‘thrive’ by taking back control of your life from your smartphone

You know how it is. One minute, you ‘quickly’ check what’s happening on your social networks of choice. Seemingly a mere moment later, the sun’s gone, as have all the people, and your stomach’s eating itself because you forgot to feed it.

If that sounds like you, THRIVE for Android wants to help you take a break from your phone. Lots of breaks, in fact. And by ‘help’, we mean ‘force’.

What does it do?

There are various settings and options, depending on how cut off from your apps and friends you want to be.

If a specific app eats into your day, turn it on in the App Control list, setting a daily usage limit. Once that’s reached, you won’t be able to Clash any Clans or Insta any Grams until midnight. The app tracks usage over time, too, making it handy even if you set generous limits.

Beyond that, you can trigger the basic Thrive mode for a set period, which stops you using your phone and forces you to focus on something more important. This can be cancelled at any point though. So if you’ve no willpower, try Super Thrive Mode instead, which blocks everything bar an emergency dialler.

Any downsides?

Mostly the smugness that exudes from the app’s text. Fire up Thrive mode and it talks about you “Taking a micro step toward a more thriving life”. Cancel your session really early and it beams “Great Work!” when it should clearly be branding you as a terrible person who can’t even stop using a phone for five minutes.

Also, you’ll almost certainly want to change the Auto Reply message, which states you’re “in Thrive Mode right now”, and will therefore make your friends want to disown you.

Where can I get it?

THRIVE is currently in beta on Google Play, and is available for free.