Average screen time should be indicated in App Store and Play Store

Daniel Vido
2 min readApr 24, 2019

Even Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) said that he is now actively monitoring his screen time and also mentioned that iPhones were never meant to be used all the time. Well, of course not. It’s not the OS (platform) and the built-in apps that cause the problem. We spend most of our smart-phone lives in apps. So I had a crazy idea. How about this?

We should indicate the average time a user spends in the application in the App Store and in the Play Store!

The data can come from either Apple or Google itself, from 3rd party platforms like Appannie, or even the developers can be forced to enter a mandatory value when uploading / updating their apps. This can support app store marketing as well and measure app popularity.

I’m aware that this concept will not be popular among app developers who are fighting hard for every second of our lives, but since both mobile platforms are now on the consumers’ side (they are protecting us from addictions) I think this is a step they should be willing to make.

The average time spend in the apps will never be correct for an individuals since consumption habit vary for each and every user but can be a good starting point in deciding whether to download another social app or not.

The displayed data can either be used manually or automatically. Manually in a way that the user can decide whether he wants to spend eg. 10 extra minutes in a new gaming app every day or not. Automatic I think means that the data should be linked to what Apple calls Screen time in the settings and it is similar on Android where they named it Digital Wellbeing. Both have the same function: to make the user aware of the time they spend on their smart-phones. The logic would be something like this: if the user does not have enough time left in the daily screen limit settings for the new application the store should display a warning dialog that he either has to give up another app or reduce the time spent in other apps to fit in the limit.

If the stores are not introducing it we, as developers can also contribute by simply adding and updating this value in the store description. This way we can support the health of our users.

What do you think? Apple, Google Play Apps & Games Team: are you on board? :)

--

--