Unhook yourself from addictive iOS apps

Space helps you get a moment of peace when you need it. We're not here to make you feel bad because it's not your fault: apps are designed to hook you.

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Bravo! I am all for anything that increases general awareness of the psychologically addictive nature of apps, social media, and games. There's nothing wrong with these apps; it's just important to be mindful when using them.
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@bleistern Thanks Matthew! That's our feeling too. Your bartender will cut you off if you've had too much. Your girlfriend will have a headache. But Facebook will never tell you 'Not now', and that's problematic. Our brains - and particularly the parts of them that control habits and addictions - didn't evolve to cope with this kind of instant, non-stop gratification. Facebook *is* a tool: it serves a great purpose and we need it in our lives. But we need it in moderation!
Apparently the way this works is that it is intended to replace your native app icon(s) with launcher icons that, when tapped, give you a moment to breathe before actually launching the app. Clever. I think an illustration of that here would be helpful. Wasn't clear how it worked until after I installed the shortcut. Anyway, wondering: why not a native app instead of a web app?
@bleistern My best guess is because of 2.5.8 in the iOS App Store Review Guidelines: "Apps that create alternate desktop/home screen environments or simulate multi-app widget experiences will be rejected." The web app is a clever workaround! It lets you have as many icons on your home screen as you want, one to replace each app.
@willdages @bleistern Ya we've been going back and forth with Apple all month trying to find a design they'd be happy with. But about 48 hours ago we decided to rewrite it as a web app and just get it out there. At the moment, it's not 2.5.8 that they're sticking on; it's "3.2.2(i) Creating an interface for displaying third party apps, extensions, or plug-ins similar to the App Store or as a general-interest collection." The rep from Apple World Wide Developer Relations was not optimistic about our core functionality ever being approved, but we're going to keep working through the appeals process.
@bleistern Thanks for the feedback Matt. We agree that it's an interaction that most users are not going to be familiar with. We tried to strike a balance between showing/telling the user how Space works, without drowning them in expository. Sounds like we need to do more to make it clear.
@tdaltonc @willdages @bleistern Great hustle to quickly turn this into a web app to test things out first! Apple is notorious with its App Store guidelines...have my fair share of "fights" with them.
@michael_cho agree. Commendable hustle guys!
Hi PH. The "Get It" link will take you to the iOS web app. You can learn more about space at Space for Android and Space for Chrome are on their way! Be the first to hear when they're ready: If you're having any trouble the website. Try opening it in Safari, not the product hunt in-app browser.
I'm very curious what @tristanharris would think of this, given his profile in The Atlantic taking on the very forces that Space attempts to fight...
Thanks @chrismessina! @tristanharris : my team and I loved the video you made with Time Well Spent. What really gets to us is the power inequality. Apps have 💰💰 to spend on behavioral analytics and machine learning - budgets for innovation on new ways to keep us hooked. But the average person is unaware, underfunded, and underpowered to fight back. If not the control, at least the insanely leveraged asymmetry of power is dystopic.
You're solving with Space the problem you're creating with Dopamine? Brilliant! :)
@nowimkrishan You caught us! 🚔 We think that habit creation requires a more built out experience then habit blocking/breaking. So we make the habit creation tools available to developers and the habit breaking tools available end user. We think that the net effect is that there are more behavior change tools for the end user to be the person they want to be!
@tdaltonc haha, makes sense. It's very clever. Reminds me of Alex Tew's advice.