Mike's NBC-TV stories

Apps to Track Smartphone Addiction

Smartphones connect us to the world like never before, but there are plenty of studies that say it’s reaching the point of addiction for many, across all age groups.

To get a fix on phone use and a handle on potential overuse for you or your kids, here are three apps that will help a lot.

Moment is an app that automatically tracks daily use ofyour iPhone and iPad. You can set daily limits and receive notifications for when getting close to the limit. Users also can force themselves off of their devices when use has reached set limits. There is also a way for users to monitor how other family members are using their devices. The basic app is free for iOS with in-app purchases that expand capabilities.

The makers of the BreakFree app make no bones about the purpose of it: to break smartphone addiction. BreakFree runs in the background and warns users if they are using certain apps too much, even making too many calls. BreakFree figures out a so-called addiction score to help maintain healthy use of smartphones. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Checky keeps tabs on the number of times you open you phone daily. Checky runs in the background so you won’t know it’s there until you want to open it and see how much you’re using your devices. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.