Flipd is an Android app that aims to curb your smartphone addiction, and even others',, by Flipping them Off. No, this is not some app that sends a middle-finger to your friends, but more an app that encourages users to put their phones down and either get on with what they were doing, or just enjoy life's moments without being glued to their phone. How Flipd does this is by sending an auto response to people and/or even locking down your device so that you can't use it until the timer runs out. It's an intriguing proposition, and one that the developers of Flipd call a "digital detox", something that we could all do with in this day and age.
To get Flipd on your device, all you need to do is to download it from the Play Store. Once installed, you'll need to sign in, luckily you can do with your Google account or a Facebook account.
Once you've signed in, you'll be given an introduction as to what Flipd actually does, and why it might be something that you could find a use for.
This is your central menu, here you can choose to "Flip Off", set an auto response and more.
The auto response will be sent to those that send you a message or try to call you, and there's a healthy amount of options already here.
Luckily though, you can go ahead and edit one of these to your own liking, essentially creating your own "buzz off" message. Here's my selfish "I'm playing PS4, please leave me alone for a bit" message my girlfriend just loves:
Auto responses like these are nothing new, and neither is locking your phone away. But combining them together in a new concept like this feels fresh, and fun. You need to lock away your phone to get the most benefit from Flipd. You can choose how long you want to lock your phone away for:
The idea here is that let's say you need to get that report or essay done yesterday, and you're still twiddling your thumbs. With Flipd, you can lock your phone out for as long as you like, and you won't be able to use it until the time runs out. Thankfully, there is a 60-second cool-off period and emergency call list just in case
Flipd also offers a sort of group flipping off, which is an interesting idea that asks other users - perhaps friends or family - to trust you with the ability to lock away their phones. Personally, I didn't see much use for this, and can see it causing more arguments than anything else, but then again I've not spent too much time with the feature. *The developers recommend this feature for parents of easily distracted teens, study groups, or even your attention-deficit significant other.
Flipd is one of those apps that you see and wonder whether or not it'll actually be that useful. Used in the right way, I can say that it is quite useful. For me, locking away my phone for more than an hour at a time seems crazy, because I'm actually one of those restrained users that knows when to put the phone down. However, the auto response part of the app is nice, and while there are other apps that do this, combining them with the ability to shut your phone down works well. I deal with news about smartphones every, single, day and frankly it gets boring after a while. That's why I know how to put the phone down and just let it be silent. Flipd however, has proven useful for completing locking away the temptation for "one more round on Fruit Ninja". My friends are prime candidates for an app like Flipd, jumping at any jingle or noise that bleeps from it, while surfing Facebook for new likes and eBay for fresh bargains. I wish they would Flip off at times.
- Speed (4/5) - In no way does Flipd effect the overall performance of your device, and setting things up is super-quick.
- Features (4/5) - It might not be revolutionary, but the idea behind Flipd is something that we're all in need of, and Flipd should certainly push the idea of a "digital detox" and being more in the moment.
- Theme (4/5) - There's not much to the app, as the whole idea is to spend less with your phone, but everything looks nice here.
- Overall (4/5) - A solid app that introduces a fresh take on the whole "no distractions" thing, Flipd is worth trying out. Especially for those in study groups or working on a project as a team.
- Doesn't take a rocket scientist to get everything set up, it takes no time at all.
- Pre-defined auto responses are fairly good, with some ready to go at the tick of a box.
- Lockscreen genuinely shuts your phone down, and the time is up to you, giving you some respite while studying, nailing a report or just out with friends.
- Easy to create your own auto response messages to make things more specific.
- Group feature could do with a little more explaining.
- Included link in auto messages is a little annoying, but it will help get other users onboard.
All-in-all, Flipd is an app that I think a lot of people should try out. After all, we could all do with a few hours of "digital detox" every now and them. Perhaps more use for students and those working to deadlines than for anyone else, Flipd might not have everyone saying "Oh, I Flipd my phone off to get this done", but I'm certain the world would be a nicer place if more people took this approach to their smartphones.