8 votes

Envelope - transform your phone into a simpler, calmer device

8 comments

  1. [4]
    moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    I know that some people were looking for new dumb phones and how to dumb down existing phones. This may be of interest to that crowd. Edit: It's currently only compatible with the two envelopes...

    I know that some people were looking for new dumb phones and how to dumb down existing phones. This may be of interest to that crowd.

    Edit: It's currently only compatible with the two envelopes with the Pixel 3a, but the code is open source. It would be pretty neat to have it compatible with Android Auto while in the envelope state, since Maps in particular is a very important program for me. Maybe an envelope for audiobooks, music or podcasts as well.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      weystrom
      Link Parent
      I was thinking about getting a dumb phone, but I really need 3 things from a mobile device: calls/text, maps and music. That quickly becomes 3 devices if you don't have a smartphone. I think it's...

      I was thinking about getting a dumb phone, but I really need 3 things from a mobile device: calls/text, maps and music. That quickly becomes 3 devices if you don't have a smartphone.

      I think it's actually easier to buy something like iPhone SE, never login into iTunes and not install any apps on it, just use stock iOS.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        moocow1452
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure if iOS lets you use the phone without an Apple ID, may want to get an older Pixel/Nexus or a relatively open phone and install vanilla AOSP on it. EDIT: my bad, you can

        I'm not sure if iOS lets you use the phone without an Apple ID, may want to get an older Pixel/Nexus or a relatively open phone and install vanilla AOSP on it.

        EDIT: my bad, you can

        1. weystrom
          Link Parent
          It lets you skip the login process during the setup, so yeah

          It lets you skip the login process during the setup, so yeah

          3 votes
  2. [4]
    eyybby
    Link
    I like the concept of this but I've two thoughts: Is this just addressing the symptom, not the cause? People rarely want to limit their phone usage purely for the purpose of limiting their phone...

    I like the concept of this but I've two thoughts:

    1. Is this just addressing the symptom, not the cause? People rarely want to limit their phone usage purely for the purpose of limiting their phone usage. They tend to want to limit their phone usage so they can increase their attention span or so they can experience the moment they are living in more consciously. Would someone using an envelope like this actually achieve their goal or would their goal then get shifted to just using the Envelope for as long as possible each day?

    2. I often want to limit my phone usage so would be in the target audience for something like this. However, this is just too limiting. I want to be able to use maps and listen to music/podcasts while I'm travelling. My money is managed through my phone and I often use it for payments too. I also want to be able to look up information and make plans with friends. Basically, I'd want something that makes using my phone more difficult (a CPU limiter or network speed cap or similar) or a feature that really encourages me to spend only "essential" time on my phone. Does anyone know of things like this for Android?

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Turtle
      Link Parent
      Check out Slim Launcher. It's a super minimalist FOSS Android launcher that limits you to 7 apps (plus shortcuts to the dialer, clock, and camera). I've been using it for the past few months and...

      Check out Slim Launcher. It's a super minimalist FOSS Android launcher that limits you to 7 apps (plus shortcuts to the dialer, clock, and camera). I've been using it for the past few months and my phone usage has gone down dramatically (I also deleted my web browser and YouTube client). I basically just use it for calls, texts, mp3s, and navigation now.

      4 votes
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        Source code F-Droid That's a neat launcher, I might end up switching to it. For anyone else who likes the idea of a minimal launcher, but does not necessarily want to limit the number of apps you...

        That's a neat launcher, I might end up switching to it.

        For anyone else who likes the idea of a minimal launcher, but does not necessarily want to limit the number of apps you can use, Kiss Launcher is a very nice alternative (and what I currently use).

        2 votes
    2. moocow1452
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yes, it is treating the symptom. However, by putting a physical barrier around the device, it's a seal that cannot be ignored or swiped or "are you sured" away. You have to physically open the...
      1. Yes, it is treating the symptom. However, by putting a physical barrier around the device, it's a seal that cannot be ignored or swiped or "are you sured" away. You have to physically open the envelope to use the phone, and that takes a commitment.
      1. This is where an Audio Envelope or access to Google Assistant would come in super handy. You could also try enabling Digital Wellness limits on the problem apps and websites themselves, but anything you can do in software is something you can undo. Maybe also change up your launcher as well. I'm currently using Aero Launcher, but you might like Siempo or another alternative.
      1 vote