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How to see how much time you’re spending on Android apps

The results might surprise you.

samsung galaxy s9 on bokeh background
Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

It’s safe to say that many of us spend a lot of time on our phones. Whether it is texting friends and family or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, our phones are rarely very far from us.

Which begs the question, just how much time are we spending looking at Reddit, Instagram, and other apps that call our phones home. It’s fairly easy to do this on an iPhone, but what about on Android?

How to check app usage time on your Android phone

If you are curious to know how much time you’re spending wasting on different apps like FacebookSpotify, and Twitter on your Android phone, the answer depends on which handset you own.

If you have one of Google’s Pixel range, you can use the Digital Wellbeing app to see all the stats you want about app usage, notifications, and other on-device stats. If you own literally any other Android, you’ll have to use one of the third-party apps that fill the same need.

On a Google Pixel device, it’s super easy to check your app usage stats:

digital wellbeing app on google pixel devices

Image: KnowTechie

  1. Open up the Settings app
  2. Scroll down to Digital Wellbeing and tap on it
  3. You’ll then see an overview of your app usage stats. Tapping on any of the names gives you a more in-depth view of your usage of that app, including when during the day you used it most.
  4. The Dashboard option shows information about UnlocksNotifications and App Usage. You can also set timers here to limit how long you can use a particular app during the day.
  5. If you scroll down to the bottom of the Digital Wellbeing page, you can toggle a switch to show the app in your app drawer. That’ll stop you having to scroll through the Settings app every time you want to look at your stats

If you own any other Android handset:

If you don’t own a Pixel, it’s time to head on over to the Google Play Store where you can find a number of app usage tracking apps. Here are some of our favorites:

Quality Time

quality time android time tracking app

Image: Quality Time

Quality Time is one of the most-downloaded time trackers (over a million installs and counting), probably because of how well everything is laid out inside the app. You’ve got a daily timeline that shows which apps you used in each hour, with total time, daily usage overviews, and individual app overviews over a longer time period.

You can also set daily usage alerts, custom profiles that ban certain apps when applied, and the Take a Break mode, where your smartphone turns into a dumbphone with calls only while set.

App Usage

app usage android time tracker app

Image: App Usage

App Usage is also a great option, and the most like the Digital Wellbeing app for Pixel devices, with some useful additions. It also has a chronological timeline of app usage, a “per-category” view in case you really do spend too much time on social media, and a really handy battery history tracking screen which shows battery drain overlaid on your app usage stats.

There’s also a handy widget for your home screen, so all the stats about your app usage are just a tap away.

Things to keep in mind

Whatever method you do use on your Android phone to track app usage stats, remember that due to Android system restrictions, whatever method you choose will only track foreground usage. That means the app has to be in use, with the screen on. That makes tracking just how much time you spend listening to Spotify in the background impossible.

What apps do you use to track your smartphone activity? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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