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Review: Jomo is an unusually deep screen time tool

Developer: Jomo
Price: Free [$29.99/£29.99 Plus tier]
Size: 15.7 MB
Version: 1.0.2
Platform: iPhone & iPad


Jomo wouldn’t be so bold as to say it will make your life better, but it does promise to help stop your phone from making your life worse.

Whether it’s social media anxiety, disturbed sleep patterns, or simply constant distraction, the effect your phone is having on your productivity and your mental wellbeing is pretty well documented. Jomo is a screen time tool that sets out to place limits on such harmful phone usage.

Establish a screen time ‘budget’

After granting the app access to Apple’s Screen Time data, it can place hard limits on your usage of certain app types, whether that be whole categories such as Games or Entertainment, or individual apps such as Slay the Spire or Netflix.

Said apps will now be blocked off on your homescreen. Attempting to open them will bring up a full page holding screen containing a piece of life advice or a snappy self improvement tip. You can still opt to Unlock said app, but it involves a jump to the Rules section, a brief cool-off timer, and an agreement to have a Break for a limited time up to 15 minutes.

This is the type of screen you get when you try to open a restricted app

Another thing you’ll agree from the outset is how much daily screen time you wish to limit yourself to. Your Home screen will then tell you how much you’ve used that day, as well as how much of your time ‘budget’ you have left.

Apple’s Screen Time tool can offer similar information, but it’s quite easy to ignore. There’s something about having this data placed front and center, as a kind of gatekeeper to your app use, that makes you far more aware of it.

It’s possible to take regular but limited app breaks

The Rules section is interesting, because it lets you tinker with the conditions these blocking tools. There are even a selection of imaginative templates for you to try out, like unlocking more app usage by walking, or using ‘good’ apps (think Books and the like) before you can access the ‘bad’ stuff.

Jomo will also give you little points of data, in the Profile section, showing you how much screen time you’re getting now in comparison to before Jomo was installed. It’s a great way to show you the good it’s doing, especially if you opt to pay for Jomo Plus, which offers unlimited Blocking as well as Strict mode, app exclusions and more.

Rules templates can add lots of interesting modifiers to the app restrictions

Screen time apps are not a new thing, but Jomo goes above and beyond in seeking to claw some of your time and attention back from those distracting apps. Just read their manifesto if you still need convincing. If Apple’s own Screen Time tool simply doesn’t go far or deep enough for your needs, this is probably the first alternative you should turn to.