We covered this little nifty productivity app last year, and now that it has been updated with a slew of new features, it is worth revisiting.
If you are addicted to your handheld devices, and can’t work or study without continuously checking them for new Facebook likes, or Twitter updates, you have a problem even if you won’t admit it.
For one, social networking addiction is a real world problem that prevents you from keeping normal relationships with the nearest and dearest in your life, and from being productive.
To weed out those distractions, Focus Out lets you selectively block notifications from various apps. It is free and displays no ads, and features quite an extensive set of customization options.
Now, a January update lets you schedule which apps and when you wish to block. One nifty feature is “Try Block Now,” which is something I am always missing in alarm apps when I want to try and see how it works right now without setting the time for one minute from now.
You can also schedule recurring app blocks, and most importantly, you can now block any number of apps with a timer.
Another new feature lets you block websites of your choice in Chrome, so that you have no way of accessing Facebook neither from the app, nor from the browser. Focus Out Distractions blocks notifications from user-selected apps and you can have as many apps blocked at a time as you wish. The recent update also adds support for Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The best thing is to block a browser app and Internet apps altogether while you study – that way, you won’t be able to over-rule a ban on some specific website.
Now, you can work and study without the nagging updates and notifications from games, social apps and entertainment or news apps and websites. It is perfect to boost your productivity and train some self-discipline.
Focus Out lets you stay connected and block distracting apps, thus you are able to receive important phone calls, text messages and emails, filtering out the distracting noise. Sweet and simple.
Another praise is a very responsive app support, which is especially great for a free app.
Of course, there are more complex alternatives like Tasker and IFTTT (If This Then That) that let you create rules, or recipes, and fine-tune a lot of processes on your device. Nevertheless, they do require some self-education on users part, and if blocking unwanted notifications and apps for a set period of time is all you want from an app, by all means, try out Focus Out Distractions. It is free, easy to use and does the job, sparing you the pain of deleting the app altogether or turning off your device as an extreme measure of self-control in your eternal battle against procrastination or for a healthy lifestyle, like going to bed on time.