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FAQ

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General

What is ( OFFTIME )?

( OFFTIME ) is a young post-technology Startup from Berlin. The ( OFFTIME ) app gives you space to breathe in our hyper-connected world. For set periods of time of your choice, the service blocks disruptive notifications, calls or SMS… Access to applications that tempt you is then restricted. Those who want to learn more about their digital habits can also receive information about their smartphone usage with the help of ‘Insights.’ ( OFFTIME ) – the company – also offers unplug and digital detox workshops and retreats.

Why not just switch the phone off or enable ‘flight mode?’

Both functions are very outdated and have not seen any innovation in decades. We know that in the world, not everything is black or white: With ( OFFTIME ), you can get an overview of your usage and customize your connectivity in a way that suits you – for every situation.

Whilst some fear to miss out, others just need to be available at all times. With ( OFFTIME ):

  • You can give your full attention to your partner and your boss (or not at all)
  • You can receive an overview, and easily manage the protocol, of what happened while you were away
  • You can restrict your access to the internet or certain apps (it will almost be like having your old Nokia back!). This will limit distractions from the outside world and lets you focus on what’s important at hand.
What is ( OFFTIME ) Insights and what is happening with my data?

As a part of ( OFFTIME ), ‘Insights’ provides detailed analysis of your phone’s and apps’ usage, so that you can identify and observe your personal usage. You can see exactly what you did with your phone and when, so that you can be mindful of how you use your time.

We take data privacy very seriously. Personal data generated by ( OFFTIME ) stays encrypted on your phone and is not accessed by us or anyone else. We collect some anonymous elements about your ( OFFTIME ) app usage in order to improve usability and the general functions of the application.

You can deactivate ( OFFTIME ) Insights and use the rest of the app separately. You can also opt out from our anonymous general app usage and usability analytics. However, by doing so, you make it harder for us to develop the app further – instead, please use the feedback function to report bugs and recommendations.

What about desktops, browsers, tablets and any other devices?

Currently ( OFFTIME ) is available for smartphones, tablets (Android) and iOS phones (beta-version). We are working to develop ( OFFTIME ) for Windows and Mac, Desktops and browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. For further updates and to become a beta-tester please sign up for our newsletter: http://offtime.co/#public-beta

In which languages is ( OFFTIME ) available?

Thanks to the great support of our worldwide users, ( OFFTIME ) is available in Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian and Arabic, as a beta-version. You are most welcome to join and support this process. Please write to: translate@offtime.co

When do you release ( OFFTIME ) for iOS?

It’s already here. ( OFFTIME ) Light for iOS comes with usage tracking, personal goals and motivating OFFTIMEs. Download ( OFFTIME ) Light for iOS now

Android: Taking Offtimes

What is a Whitelist – and how does it work? Where is the Blacklist

Clearly, we love the positive approach: The whitelist allows a user to add those contacts and apps that will always get through. This way your boss, a family member or close relative etc… can reach you even in during your ( OFFTIME ). When you would rather use a blacklist, you can click on the top right in the list views and do a “select/deselect all”.

How to end an ongoing ( OFFTIME ) right now?

First of all, you may reconsider: why would you like to stop something earlier than planned…? By default you can still text, give calls, use emergency numbers and other apps that you may have whitelisted.Stay calm and be assured, that this ( OFFTIME ) is not forever. In the settings of your ( OFFTIME ) profile you can choose between four options to manually end an ( OFFTIME ): 1) long press 2) long press and plug into charger 3) long press and wait for one minute. Option 4) makes manually stopping an ( OFFTIME ) impossible. You will just have to take a deep breath and wait. Enjoy the freedom that comes with this mode.

How can I schedule ( OFFTIME )s in advance and for recurring timeframes?

There are three ways to automate your ( OFFTIME ): A) Schedule on the fly: From the ‘Take Offtime’ screen, you can not only change the ending point of your ( OFFTIME ) on the time wheel, but also the starting point. Just hold and drag the starting point around the wheel. With a click on the start button at the center of the screen – that should now read ‘Schedule’ – you can set your scheduled ( OFFTIME ).

B) Calendar automation (PRO): To automate your daily ( OFFTIME )s, you can connect the app to your device’s calendar. First open the advanced settings of the current profile: on the ‘Take Offtime’ screen, click once on the upper right-end corner to access the advanced settings. At the end of the list, you’ll find the link to ‘Schedule profile via calendar’. After selecting one or more calendars, you can define some keywords to filter the events for which the current ( OFFTIME ) profile should be started automatically.

C) Recurring ( OFFTIME ) (PRO): Click on the left menu button “”Recurring Schedule”” to set up your ( OFFTIME ) for a given day by using any one of your profiles.

How to use WLAN and mobile data during an ( OFFTIME ) (some app require internet access)?

You can enable/disable WLAN/mobile data in the settings of an ( OFFTIME )-profile thus according to your needs.

Will I be informed about missed calls and messages during my ( OFFTIME )? And how do others perceive my ( OFFTIME )?

While you enjoy an ( OFFTIME ), a caller who is not on your whitelist will hear the usual phone ring, be redirected to your voicemail, and get the friendly auto-reply SMS right afterwards. This SMS will also be received by those people who send you a text message during your ( OFFTIME ). You can adjust this note in the settings of your profile (Calls and SMS). As soon as your ( OFFTIME ) ends, you will see the log of all the missed events that took place during your ( OFFTIME ), such as calls and messages.

How does ( OFFTIME ) work together with WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook & Co?

We often get questions on WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, Skype… or any messaging & calling app. With ( OFFTIME ) you can block all of them just like any other app. However until today, it is not possible for ( OFFTIME ) to filter anything within these apps. For instance if you have blocked a certain contact for the duration of an ( OFFTIME ), this exact contact could still reach you through WhatsApp, as long as you have WhatsApp and an internet connection enabled.

How do I notice that my ( OFFTIME ) is over?

You will notice that a started ( OFFTIME ) is over by the vibration of your phone, that is, the most calm and less stressful way. You can disable this via the profil settings.

What to do when app blocking and/or app tracking doesn’t work?

You can select another method for the app to detect your app usage. You can find this under Menu > Settings > Tracking & Blocking Method. In most cases one of the offered possibilities work. Please don’t forget: starting with Android 5.0, 5.1 as well as 6.0 you might have to give additional permissions to make the methods work too.

Android: Insights

Why does ‘Insights’ stop tracking every now and then?

If the date of your smartphone suddenly changes (e.g. when manually changing the timezone), Insights stops tracking in order to avoid saving inaccurate data into the database. Subsequently you would need to (re-)start Tracking manually.

What does ‘Comparison’ show?

In “Comparison”, you are informed on the number of sessions, total usage time, and length of total ( OFFTIME ) in relation to other worldwide users. You get an idea of your ranking within the ( OFFTIME ) community. This feature needs to be activated by yourself since it requires to send and share your anonymised data to our server.

What are ‘My goals’ about?

You can set goals regarding your daily device usage time, and length of sessions that you want to spend with your device. Based on your set goals, you will receive some notifications and reminders (e.g.: “Goal Reached”).

What is the ( OFFTIME ) Score and what does it tell me?

A high Score indicates you have hardly used your phone, while a low Score shows that you have remained quiet a long time away from your phone. All the data provided in Insights refer to the last 24 hours. The data provided in “My Day” is an average usage time until today. Furthermore, Insights allows direct comparison with other smartphone users.

What to do when app blocking and/or app tracking doesn’t work?

You can select another method for the app to detect your app usage. You can find this under Menu > Settings > Tracking & Blocking Method. In most cases one of the offered possibilities work. Please don’t forget: starting with Android 5.0, 5.1 as well as 6.0 you might have to give additional permissions to make the methods work too.

Android: ( OFFTIME ) PRO

What are the advantages of ( OFFTIME ) Pro?

You can find all ( OFFTIME ) Pro Features here: http://offtime.co/pricing/en

How much does ( OFFTIME ) Pro cost?

To use ( OFFTIME ) Pro for Android, we kindly ask you to either pay 3,- Euro/Dollar or what you perceive as fair and what an hour undistracted time is worth to you, starting from 1 to 100 EUR. With this contribution we will keep on developing ( OFFTIME ) based on the feedback received from you and the other users.

To use ( OFFTIME ) Light for iOS we have a upfront 3,- Euro/Dollar payment.

( OFFTIME ) for Android

How to share feedback (something is wrong, I have an idea to share etc…)?

Please send us your feedback, it certainly helps us to improve and we will try to get back to you within seven days. You can contact us via email (on@offtime.co), Facebook and Twitter (@getOFFTIME). If you report on something technical, it would be most useful to include all relevant data: please make sure that you check the boxes to attach 1) System Log, and 2) Database, within the Feedback function. This way, we can easily reproduce the scenario.

Which amount of physical resources (RAM) of my smartphone does ( OFFTIME ) require?

The system of your smartphone is optimised to make the best use of the available memory and CPU time. However, if you have the impression that your phone performance is influenced by ( OFFTIME ), you may test it. One way of doing so is to look at the collection of all data gathered in Insights along with its visualisation. You can disable Insights, and if afterwards your phone really runs more smoothly, you do have a point. In this case, please approach us and share this information so that we can follow up on it.

How to save or (re-)import my data (Backup)?

We are working hard to find the best solution for data backup and (re-)import. Please stay tuned.

How can I uninstall ( OFFTIME ) if enforced mode or administrator rights are active?

When an initiated OFFTIME ends, you can leave the enforced mode or change the admin rights in the Android system: System > Security > Admin, then disable and uninstall the app as usual. However, we would appreciate your feedback (just email us to feedback@offtime.co) regarding the reasons why you uninstalled the app. You can tell us anything (was it the color, the overall design, a certain bug, …), what you liked most… It would help us to improve!

What can I do if App blocking or tracking isn’t working?

If your device is running Android 5.0+ make sure that you gave ( OFFTIME ) the necessary permissions to access app usage. In most phones you find this setting under “Settings > Security > Apps with usage access”. On some phone models running Android 5.0+ App blocking and tracking isn’t working with our classic method. For these models we implemented alternative methods that can be selected in ( OFFTIME )’s settings under “Settings > Application blocking and tracking method”. If chosing a different method doesn’t help, please get in touch with us via feedback@offtime.co

How to use ( OFFTIME ) for several SIM cards in one phone (e.g. Dual-SIM)?

No matter how many SIM cards are activated on your single phone, they all relate to the installed, active apps on your phone and cannot be used separately. One way to deal with this is by creating different profiles in ( OFFTIME ) and to choose a profile accordingly to your needs and desires in relation to the activated SIM card.

Does ( OFFTIME ) support tablets?

Yes, ( OFFTIME ) supports tablets for Android.

Where do I get the latest ( OFFTIME ) version?

We recommend that you install the latest version of ( OFFTIME ) from the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.offtime.kit

If you’re interested in getting the latest features and fixes before everyone else, join our community to become a Beta tester:https://plus.google.com/communities/105472182050216689189

Which Android versions are supported and do I always need the latest update of ( OFFTIME ) ?

We support all versions starting from Android 3.x. There might be compatibility until versions 2.x+, however ( OFFTIME ) is not optimised for those. We are continuously improving ( OFFTIME ).

For instance in the last months, ( OFFTIME ) has become compatible with new devices (such as tablets), been updated for automatic configuration and scheduling, and improved its design. Therefore we recommend that you always use the latest version ( OFFTIME ) version to get the most out of it:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.offtime.kit

Why does the app require all these permissions?

The permissions are necessary as the aim of the app is to intervene with, and track, some of the phone’s core functionalities.

We’ll soon give you more details on each of the permissions we need.

( OFFTIME ) for iOS

What can I do if tracking doesn’t work? (iOS)

If ( OFFTIME ) doesn’t properly track your usage it’s very likely that the App doesn’t have the necessary permissions. Please make sure that ( OFFTIME ) can use location services and thus continuously runs in the background. You find the corresponding option in your system settings under “Settings > ( OFFTIME ) > Location”. Please choose “Always”. After doing so and restarting the app, usage tracking should work properly.

However, if you didn’t give us permissions to the location services from the start, you won’t find them in the system settings later on. Here’s a workaround:

Open the app (dismiss the location dialogs whenever they pop up), open the menu, go to settings and open the “Tutorial”. Swipe through until you get to the last screen with the title “Permissions needed”. Try tapping the switch next to “Location updates” and see if this way you can enable the location services. After doing so, the switch should be enabled/green and you should be able to close the tutorial by clicking on “Ok, let’s go!”.

Known Issues & Bugs
  • 2016/02/08 – Sometimes it shows a very high device usage when OFFTIME is started (e.g. at the first use in the morning OFFTIME shows device usage for the whole night). However, this usage isn’t show in the activity log and is also cleaned during the further use of the app and device.
    • Status: A bug fix is currently tested.
    • Recommendation: wait for the update
  • 2016/02/05 – The icon badge shows in the default settings with no to little time off taken a „1“ instead of a „0“ (or nothing).
    • Status: item in the backlog.
    • Recommendation: take more time off, deactivate the badge in den settings or switch to the daily number of unlocks.

Did you notice any other issues or bugs? Let us know and send an email to: feedback@offtime.co

Supporting ( OFFTIME )

How can I support ( OFFTIME )?

Thank you for being here with us. We need your support in several ways. We invite you to: