How does Focus train me to drive screen free?
Focus will automatically detect when you start driving. If you pick up your phone and start tapping around, you’ll hear my voice urging you to put down your phone and focus on the road. I’ll start out pleasant and nice, but quickly get angry if you keep using your phone.
I’ll be quiet as soon as you lock your phone and put it down.
Think of it like me over your shoulder nagging you to stop looking at your phone screen while you’re driving.
Why doesn’t Focus actually block my phone use while I’m driving?
There are always ways around that. The goal isn’t to make it harder to use your phone while you’re driving; it’s to make you want to not use your phone at all.
What if I’m in a car, but I’m not the driver?
Focus kicks in when it detects you inside a car going more than 10 MPH, although it can’t tell if you’re in the passenger seat. If you’re not driving and you start to hear my voice, just give your phone a solid shake until you hear the DO-Do-do noise. That will mark that trip as “I wasn’t driving” and make the voiceovers be quiet.
Does using my GPS app count?
If you’re looking at your phone screen with the map displayed, yes. It doesn’t matter if you’re texting or trying to decipher a map of where you’re going; your eyes are still on your phone instead of the road.
The best thing to do is set up your directions before you pull out of your driveway and listen to Siri’s voice instructions. They’ll get you to your destination safely and your eyes can remain on the road.
Does it count when I’m listening to music or a podcast?
Focus tracks every minute your phone is unlocked while you’re driving. If you’re playing a podcast or listening to music and your phone is locked, Focus won’t count any of that time against you.
How about when I’m on a phone call?
Focus is designed to discourage you from looking at your screen while driving. Talking on a phone call isn’t great either, but calls don’t count against you inside the app.
The time you spend on phone calls while driving is tracked too, in case you’re curious.
What about using my phone at a red light?
Being stopped in traffic or at a red light is no excuse to be on your phone. You’re still behind the wheel of your car and should be paying attention to your surroundings. If you’re stopped at a light, Focus will keep reminding you to put down your phone.
Besides, how often does answering a text fit perfectly into the 27 seconds you’re stopped at a light? Never. You always start typing, the light turns green, and you hit the gas pedal and hurtle through the intersection while you keep typing away.
When you stop at your final destination, you’ll still be reminded to put your phone down for about 15 seconds. After that, the reminders will stop and that phone use won’t be counted against you.
How do I get a report card from my kids?
Focus can send you an email report card for each car trip your kids make. See an example.
To set it up for an iPhone:
- Install Focus on your kid’s iPhone.
- Open Focus and have your kid go through the set up process so they know how to mark a trip as “I wasn’t driving.”
- Open the settings screen by tapping on the settings icon in the top right.
- Tap on Email Report Card.
- Turn the Email Report Card switch on, then fill out your email and your kid’s name.
- Go back to the settings screen.
- Check your email for a confirmation link.
- Click on the big "I want to receive report cards from Kevin" button inside the email.
That’s it. From here, try starting a test drive inside the app so you can see how Focus works yourself. After that test drive and every real drive your kid makes, you’ll get an email report card on their phone use while they were driving.
I bought the app and I used to have access to all of the features. How do I get them back?
In version 1.2, I made the voiceover and email report card feature part of the Pro Features upgrade. If you downloaded Focus before version 1.2, you should be unaffected and you will have access to the pro features. I would never take away features that you already had.
In a small number of cases, Focus doesn’t correctly unlock those features for people that should have them. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll sort it out. I’m sorry about that bug.
Where is my data stored and sent? Can I completely destroy my data?
Any other legal pages I should know about?
Read through our Terms of Service, if you’re curious.
Need more help?
If you still have questions or something still isn’t working for you, email me, Kevin Holesh, the developer of Focus at email@example.com.