Make Your Smartphone Less Distracting By Switching Your Screen To Grayscale

iOS/Android: If you find yourself overly-dependent on your smartphone, and can't help but check it every few minutes for no reason, this simple tweak might make it easier to cut back.

In this video, Dr James Hamblin of The Atlantic's If Our Bodies Could Talk series shares a tip for making your phone a little less attention-grabbing: Set the screen to grayscale. As Hamblin explains, bright colours grab our attention and keep us interested, especially red (the colour of those little notification bubbles). If you remove the colour, you also remove some of the joy of swiping from app to app on your phone. Suddenly your colourful social feeds, games and dating apps look like an old newspaper. And the less fun and attention-grabbing your phone is, the less likely you are to pull it out of your pocket every other second.

To switch your iPhone over to grayscale: Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Colour Filters > and select "Grayscale".

The process on Android is a bit more complicated, as explained by GeekKraft HD at Android Cenral:

Go to "about device," find "build number," and tap it a bunch of times until the phone tells you you are a developer. Then, go back to settings, and above about device, you will see a new option called "developer options." Open it, and find "Simulate colour space," and set it to "Monochrome."

Your mileage may vary with this trick, but when it feels like your phone has taken over your life, every little bit helps. We've suggested using greyscale for your computer monitor in the past for the same reasons. 

To Break a Phone Addiction, Turn Your Screen Grey [The Atlantic]


Comments

    Any thoughts on whether this helps extend battery life? My tired iPhone 5 could do with a bit of help.

    Also, where to find it depends on what version of iOS you're running. For me in iOS8 it can be found in Settings > General > Accessibility and select "Grayscale".

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