How I am Trying to Cure My Phone Addiction By Building NoPhone

Aswin Mohan

Yes you are addicted too, let’s get over that

Here’s a Sneak Peek on the App

One fine day I installed a time tracking App on my phone, just to see how much time was spend swiping and scrolling. I expected like 3 hours max, since I didn’t see myself as a hardcore addict.

Ohh I was wrong. The first day it reported 5 hours, the second day 7, the third day 8. So I figured that I’m addicted to my Phone. That small youtube watching and 5 minute breaks turned 23 minutes where starting to add up.

So like any other milleneal(medium doesn’t allow browser autocorrect for some reason) I went to google and asked.

Hey Google I am addicted to my phone how do I get out?

  • 10 Ways to break your phone addiction
  • 33 Secret Ways to Quit Using Your Phone that the Big Companies Don’t Want You to Know About
  • <A Number> Ways to Break Your Phone Addiction

Couple of Hours and Couple of $$ generated as Ad revenue for those clickbait articles I found https://www.thelightphone.com/ .

Meet Light Phone

I met LightPhone. The UltraMinimal UltraSexy Smartphone that would let you have your peace of mind. I don’t want to explain a lot so here’s a video

It’s sweet, minimal but got one problem. It’s expensive and you get another phone. It’s fine for you rich guys out there and people with big arms, but not everyone is a fan of buying another Phone with toned down features of the same phone they own.

Meet NoPhone

We all have our awesome engineering marvels called smartphones. The only problem with them is that they do a lot of things. So the obvious solution was to tone them down.

And what better way than to create an Android Launcher that would take up your HomeScreen button and won’t let you access any apps. That’s how the Idea for NoPhone was born.

Meet Me Not Knowing How To Make NoPhone

I’m a React Native developer. I haven’t had the bad luck of digging in Native Code yet. So Java is as foriegn to me as Java is to a RN developer who hasn’t used Java.

In my mind the laucher was some low level app that required a lot of coding expertise that I obviously did not have. But a small google search changed that. Turns out there’s only two lines you got to change to make your Normal App into an Native Android Launcher.

<action android:name=”android.intent.action.MAIN” />
<category android:name=”android.intent.category.HOME” />
<category android:name=”android.intent.category.DEFAULT” />

That’s it your App is a launcher now.

Getting Busy

Now it was just writing some cryptic symbols that most people call Code and waiting for it to work. I designed the App, came up with a Name and a Logo and completely Coded it in 4 days since the App doesn’t techincally have to do anything.

It was still a proof of Concept at that point. I implemented the bare minimum of features and npm helped a lot along the way.

After 4 days I had a working prototype. I shared it with my friends and our local product hunt tribe(Kerala Product Hunters, a great bunch of makers),and our College Developers Club (DevCom) .They all seemed to love the Idea and gave a lot of valuable feedback and bug reports.

Also we have a local Android Developers Group which helped me iron out some more issues with the launcher.

Launching

The App was Launched on Product Hunt on 11 June 2018, where it became the 1st Product Hunt of the Day, and got a lot of upvotes.

https://www.producthunt.com/posts/nophone-2

How I’m Using It

I set NoPhone as my default Launcher and it’s working pretty well for me. If I want to scroll through twitter or waste some time online. I have to manually go to settings and change the home screen App. That’s pretty annoying and has been succesful in keeping me away from my Phone.

Do give it a shot and give your Valuable Feedback :D

Aswin Mohan

Written by

There are some things in the world that should be left alone, Code is not one of them, neither is Design, nor is writing but grammar is one of those.

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