Quantified-self enthusiasts – those who are somewhat obsessed with using technology to better understand themselves, their daily habits and personal trends – have been fortunate to have a wide variety of niche apps to choose from for measuring everything from athletic activity, to travel time, and even time you’ve spent using your smartphone on a given day. But for the most part, you would have to download a handful of apps in order to log this data. Newly launched Instant 2.0, now available on Android, instead is offering a single destination for tracking nearly everything you want to record, including phone usage, app usage, fitness activity and traveling.
The app, which just rolled out version 2.0 on the Google Play Store, is somewhat reminiscent of earlier apps like Moment and Checky, for example, which focused on recording how much time you spent using your smartphone, and allowed you to set limits on that behavior. (It issomewhat shocking to see how many minutes you’re staring at that little screen, I have to admit.)
However, Instant’s creator Shashwat Pradhan tells us that the idea with the new app is to expand beyond analyzing phone usage to cover more “contextual event tracking” – meaning things like how much time you’ve spent in a meeting, how much time you spent driving or exercising and how much time you’re on Facebook among other things.
One of the app’s differentiating features is its integration with Google Fit, Google’s health-tracking platform for developers that allows Instant to pull in data from various connected fitness-tracking apps.
Instant 2.0 can also track your phone unlocks, app usage and more, and allows you to set daily limits, similar to competitors, as well as reminders and notifications that alert you when you’re getting close to hitting those limits.
In addition, the app presents the data in a number of charts and graphs, so you can make better sense of your time and, perhaps, how it’s being wasted.
As to why someone would want to navel-gaze quite this much?
Well, in some cases people really just do want to better understand themselves. But the app could also prove useful for those who need to log how much time they’re spending at work, or those who need to keep track of their travel times, perhaps. Or, as Moment discovered, parents grew attached to its app as a way to make sure that kids’ phone privileges weren’t being abused.