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Free Apps that Can Break Your Smartphone Addiction

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Smartphones have assumed the status of almost-indispensable gadgets. With the utility of these devices increasing by the day, it is no surprise that smartphone addiction is on the rise among various classes and demographics of users.

According to the Research and Development Unit of Yudala, smartphones have lent hitherto-unimagined ease and convenience to the increasingly fast-paced world we live in, such that the boundary of their innovative uses is constantly being pushed.

For many, smartphone addiction is now an unavoidable reality, resulting in often dire effects on work, health and human relationships.

However, the beauty of technology is the ability to use it to find solutions to its side-effects. So, if you are hooked on your smartphone, there are apps to help you deal with that. According to Yudala, here are a few apps that can help you break your smartphone addiction.

QualityTime (Android)
QualityTime offers a unique and in-depth analysis of your smartphone activities by tracking total usage, screen unlocks and individual apps with hourly, daily and weekly summary reporting options.
The app provides the ability to curb your habits by using actionable features allowing you to set your own time restrictions like ‘alerts’, ‘take a break’ and ‘scheduled breaks’.
These features can help you manage and control your usage when needed. Also, you can create different QualityTime profiles to customize how you wish to unplug from your smartphone during “take a break” or “scheduled breaks” to minimize distractions during those periods.
QualityTime profiles provide options for you to block notifications and reject phone calls with auto reply text messages. You can also define exceptions to allow incoming calls from important contacts and permit access to specific apps during those restricted periods.

Offtime (iOS, Android)
The Offtime app helps users unplug by blocking distracting apps like Facebook and games, while also filtering communications. It includes information on how much you actually use your smartphone.
You can choose tailored modes like Work, Family, or Me Time to ensure that you have access to the things you need, but aren’t distracted by what you don’t. Analytics of your phone and app usage can be an important wake-up call, and can help you curb your habits.

AppDetox (Android)

Another useful application for breaking smartphone addiction, AppDetox can help you get your weakness under control, especially if you are one of those whose attachment to the smartphone is based on apps-usage.
You can set your own parameters on an app-by-app basis so you can have access when it is not a disruption. Every time you break one of your own rules, the app reminds you to put down your phone.

Forest (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chrome, Firefox)
Forest is a simple app that rewards you for not touching it. When you want to focus, open the app to plant a tree. If you want that tree to grow, don’t touch your phone for the next 30 minutes. That’s it.
The mobile version encourages you to leave the app open, while the browser version gives you more flexibility: it encourages you to not browse sites from a block list you set for yourself. If you find yourself opening your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tabs when you should be working, Forest is the right app for you.

Moment (iOS)
Moment tracks your device usage and allows you to set daily limits. The beauty of the app is that it notifies you if you exceed them.
You can even use a setting that “forces” you off your phone by flooding your screen with annoying alerts when you try to extend your screen time. Moment can also be used for families, with the option to track your family’s device use from your own phone.

BreakFree (iOS, Android)
BreakFree incorporates the usage tracking features found in many similar apps, but it differs in that it breaks down the information into an easy-to-understand “addiction score.”
It also shows you how often you unlock your phone screen, and comprehensively logs your usage for the day.
This system makes it a great choice for those who like to set goals and challenge themselves. Ironically, it may also get you addicted to trying to see how low you can get your addiction score.

Flipd (Android)
If you lack the focus or self-discipline to keep the phone away when you’re trying to get some work done, Flipd is the app for you.
Flipd allows you to lock your phone for a set period of time, and once you do, there’s no going back. Even restarting your phone won’t disable the app, so it is almost impossible for you to cut corners.
Flipd can even be used to remotely “flip off” one user from another user’s device, which is helpful for teams that want to keep one another focused on a task.

Stay on Task (Android)
Stay on Task is an equally useful app which helps keep you away from your distracting smartphone in a gentler way.
The app simply asks if you’re still on task at random intervals during the day. If you are easily distracted, Stay on Task can help you overcome this weakness by redirecting your focus when your mind is wandering.
 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

NITDA to Blacklist MDAs not Running Website on .gov.ng

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National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said any government agency or ministry not running its website on Nigerian domain name, .gov.ng, will be blacklisted.

 

Dr Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami, NITDA director general in a statement made available in Abuja, added that most of the agencies still run their websites on generic top level domain (gTLD).

 

According to Dr Pantami, NITDA has observed the disregard to the use of .gov.ng domain in transaction of government business despite previous warning.

 

The DG said the agency would henceforth ensure strict compliance stressing that government business transactions should be carried out in the country’s code top level domain of the Nigerian government (ccTLD.ng)

 

However, for easy compliance, he said NITDA would henceforth approve request for .gov.ng within 24 hours, with the provision of special purpose phone numbers coupled with regular evaluation of agencies sites.

 

He said: “Furthermore, .gov.ng domain names are free with no rental or renewal cost attached. We therefore call on all MDAs and service providers to support government on the scale on the scale of ease of doing business.” (Daily Trust)

 

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Swift Networks Launches Customised ICT Solutions for SMEs

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Swift Networks Limited, Nigeria’s leading broadband services provider has launched a suite of information and communications technology products customized to support Nigerian SMEs.

 

These bundled solutions will reduce cost and give small businesses better control of their operations to drive efficiencies and growth.

 

To operate under the sub-brand of SWIFT SMARTBusiness Kit,these all-in-one service bundles will consist of all the office and home connectivity, hosting and bespoke business software solutions available to small businesses in the market today.

 

“SWIFT SMARTBusiness Kit continues in SWIFT’s tradition of demystifying and simplifying technology to help unlock Nigeria’s abundant potentials so that people can achieve more in their daily undertakings”, enthused Mr. Charles Anudu, managing director of SWIFT.

 

“SWIFT SMARTBusiness Kit is user friendly and will resolve the problem of small businesses dealing with multiple vendors who often present them with conflicting solutions that are not future-proof. With our solution, SMEs will obtain all their ICT solutions from a single trusted service provider with probably the industry’s best of customer care team on one monthly bill”, according to Mr. Chukwuma Okoye, chief operating officer of SWIFT.

 

“And because we are sure that our target small businesses will like this solution, SWIFT SMARTBusiness kit will come with a 30-day money back guarantee with no questions asked if the customer is not satisfied with the solution.”

 

He further added that “for the early birds, we shall throw in a free home internet access for the business for as long as the subscription is current.”

 

A sample SWIFT Business Kit solution will consist of office (and free home) internet, web and e-mail hosting, attractive business and international travel voice call rates, a la carte business software modules for sales, accounting, customer relationship management, inventory management and human resource management.

 

A customer can start with a basic plan and either add or drop modules as the business evolves. This is because our solutions basket are well aligned and future-proof.

 

SWIFT SMART Business Kit is specially targeted at businesses in the professional services, eCommerce, traditional retail, educational, healthcare, hospitality and cottage industries.

 

The services will be distributed directly through SWIFT’s customer centres as well as those of its online and off-line channel partners. It will also be supported by a professional field sales team from SWIFT.

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Gates Foundation Open-source Tool Enables Digital Payment Interoperability

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The new Mojaloop software, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is available, free-of-cost, for software developers to adapt and banks, financial service providers and companies to implement.

Mojaloop is said to be the first model that can help extend interoperability from mobile money providers to any bank, merchant or government institution in a way that specifically meets the needs of the poor. It reduces the complexity and cost of building all-inclusive payment platforms.

Kosta Peric, deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor at the Gates Foundation, says just as the Internet revolutionised digital communication, open source solutions like Mojaloop can spark innovation, democratise access to digital payments, empower billions of new customers, and drive massive economic growth in developing markets.

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome. With Mojaloop, our technology partners have finally achieved a solution that can apply to any service, and we invite banks and the payment industry to explore and test this tool,” Peric adds.

Mojaloop (from the Swahili word ‘moja’ which means ‘one’) was created by the Gates Foundation’s Level One Project, which aims to build inclusive payment models to benefit the world’s poor.

It was created in partnership with fintech developers Ripple, Dwolla, ModusBox, Crosslake Technologies and Software Group, using technology such as the Interledger Protocol, a solution for settling funds among multiple providers across their individual systems.

The Mojaloop development project also brought together four mobile systems companies – Ericsson, Huawei, Telepin, and Mahindra Comviva – to develop an Open API for mobile money interoperability. These APIs will allow mobile money providers to integrate seamlessly with Mojaloop and products built from it.

It was designed to ultimately serve as a model for national payment switching systems that, for example, enable an individual’s digital wallet to connect with an employer’s bank account and her children’s school account to complete monthly transactions.

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