App of the Week – ClearLock

Published on February 10, 2016

We’ve all been there. Sitting in a slightly less than interesting meeting, you assuage the boredom by checking on Instagram. You’re trying to get your writing quota for the day out of the way when the irresistible urge to jump on Twitter guides your hands away from your keyboard and over to your phone.

For those of us looking to boost our productivity – or just cut out a few of our smartphone’s many distractions – there’s an app here to help.

ClearLock bills itself as a “productivity app” that allows you to block other apps in order to focus your attention on the most pressing task at hand.

Using the app, you simply select what programs on your phone you want to block, choose a time frame (up to 12 hours), and get to work.

ClearLock’s interface is clear-cut (sorry, we couldn’t resist) and easy to use. Once you’ve made your selection, it’s like the icons on your phone have been disabled – you can tap on Facebook Messenger, for example, but it won’t launch until the window is clear or you undo your settings.

There are a few drawbacks – the time windows are pre-set increments, for instance, so you can’t schedule blocks down to the minute – but the app performs well as a whole. In our experience, ClearLock was bug-free and easy to navigate.

ClearLock is only available for Android devices. It is a free download from the Google Play store, and you can upgrade to Pro – which lets you schedule pre-set blocking windows and gives you access to a quick-start widget – for less than $2 as an in-app purchase.