Does Moment have to be in the background to track my phone use?

Short answer: Yes. Moment must be running in the background to track when you’re using your phone. It does not have to be open and active. You can press the home button and leave Moment in the background, but you cannot completely force quit the app (swiping up from the multitasking menu).

Does it count when I’m listening to music or on a phone call?

Moment only counts your “screen time.” If your screen is off, Moment will not count listening to music or talking on a phone call.

Moment seems to be draining my battery. How can I fix this?

Because Moment is constantly running in the background to track your phone use, I’ve created a page especially for making Moment as battery efficient as possible. Currently, on my iPhone 6s Plus, Moment uses about 5% of my overall battery to track my phone use all day. I barely notice it.

My app usage numbers seem off. Why don’t my app usage numbers add up to my total for the day?

There are two reasons why your app usage numbers might be inaccurate:

  1. You’re taking your Battery screenshot at different times each day. The biggest thing you can do to make it more accurate is take your Battery screenshot at the same time every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s 12:01 AM or 9 AM, the more consistent you are, the better.

  2. Charging your phone. The data displayed on the Battery screen only reflects apps you’ve used that have used your battery power. If you’re using your phone while it’s charging, those apps you use won’t be using battery power and therefore won’t be displayed on that Battery screen. Moment won’t be able to log that app use.

In general, the app usage tracking is imperfect, but it’s the best solution we’ve got. Trust the daily total you see in Moment because that is accurate down to the second. The app usage numbers might be off by a few minutes, but they will paint an overall picture of what apps you used the most.

How does Moment automatically detect my Battery screenshots?

When you take a screenshot, Moment automatically checks your Photos library for a new Battery screenshot. Moment then runs a local process to make doubly sure that the new screenshot is a proper Battery screenshot. If it isn’t a Battery screenshot, Moment stops there.

If that new screenshot is a Battery screenshot, Moment securely uploads it to its servers. Once processed, your phone will receive a push notification letting you know your app use data is ready.

If, for some reason, a non-Battery screenshot is uploaded, it is immediately deleted from the servers.

I’m trying to exclude an app, but I can’t search for the app by name? There are no results.

I’m guessing you just turned on the App Use Detection feature or just downloaded the app. You’re only able to exclude apps that Moment has logged some time for.

Once you take your first Battery screenshot, you’ll be able to exclude apps from counting. After Moment processes that first screenshot, go back to the settings > App Use Detection > Exclude Certain Apps and tap the + icon. Those apps from the screenshot you just took will be there, waiting to be excluded.

I use my GPS app while I’m driving and I don’t want that to count. How do I make that happen?

The best — and safest — solution is to use Maps, Waze, or Google Maps with the voiceover navigation while your phone is locked, which is what I do.

  1. Start up your directions before you start driving.
  2. Press the power button to lock your phone.
  3. Put your phone upside down in the cupholder with the screen facing away from you.
  4. Listen to the voice directions from Siri.

Moment won’t log any of that time and your eyes will remain safely on the road.

Also, if you really want to stop yourself or your kids from using the phone while driving, check out my other app Focus.

How does Moment force me off my phone when I’m over my daily limit?

Moment uses repeated notifications when you’re over your limit. These notifications block your screen and remind you to put your phone down until tomorrow. In order to actually use your phone, you’ll have to close an alert every few seconds. You will still be able to receive phone calls even if you’re over your daily limit.

Here’s what it looks like to turn on this feature and encounter it:

Animation of how to turn on the force me off alerts and encounter the trying to use an app

How do I disable the “force me off over my limit” feature in case of an emergency?

You actually don’t need to disable the Force Me Off feature to make an emergency call. Moment will not prevent you from dialing 911.

  1. Tap your home button to show your lock screen.

  2. Swipe to the right.

  3. Tap Emergency in the bottom left.

  4. Make your emergency call from there. Stay safe.

Why does Moment keep telling me that “Tracking has quit”?

Moment’s tracking can pause for one of three reasons:

  1. You force quit Moment. Moment needs to be running in the background to track your phone use. If you swipe up Moment from the multitasking menu to force quit it, your automatic phone usage tracking will immediately stop. Moment will resume tracking when you move to a new place.

  2. Location services are turned off. Go into your phone’s Settings app > Privacy > Location Services. Make sure the switch at the top is turned on. Also, find the Moment app listed below and make sure that switch is on.

  3. You’re in airplane mode. Moment needs to have access to your phone’s GPS chip in order to continually track your phone use, which it cannot do in airplane mode. Once you turn off airplane mode, open Moment again to resume tracking.

Why does Moment need to track the places I go to automatically track my phone use?

Currently, iOS doesn’t have an easy way for an app to determine if you’re using your phone or not. That’s why there is no app (other than Moment) that does it well.

To automatically track your phone use, Moment must be running in the background. Apple only allows apps to run consistently in the background in very specific use cases. Tracking the places you go is one of those, which allows Moment to run in the background.

If you’re concerned about privacy, know that I am too. Location data is stored on your physical phone in a secure place that other apps cannot touch. Moment never sends that location data over the internet and I personally never see that data, by design. Your location data is your private data and I have no desire to collect it or sell it to anybody.

When you delete Moment from your phone, that location data is gone forever. For more details, read through Moment’s privacy policy.

If you’re concerned about Moment killing your battery, the GPS tracking doesn’t affect your battery much. I’ve worked really hard to minimize that impact. That feature uses about 0.25% of your battery per day, slightly more if you’re moving around a lot.

I put together a battery tips page with instructions on how to check how much battery Moment is using for you, and tips to improve it.

I used to be able to set a daily limit on myself, but those settings disappeared. How do I get them back?

In version 2.2, I made the daily limit settings part of the Pro Features upgrade. If you downloaded Moment before version 2.2, you should be unaffected and you will have access to those daily limit settings. I would never take away features that you already had.

In a small number of cases, Moment doesn’t correctly unlock those features for people that should have them. Shoot me an email at kevin@inthemoment.io and I’ll sort it out. I’m sorry about that bug.

Moment is counting usage in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping. What’s going on?

Moment tracks all of the time your phone is unlocked. There are a few sleep tracking and alarm clock apps that trick your phone into staying unlocked. The most popular example is Sleep Cycle.

There’s a couple things you can do to use Moment with Sleep Cycle:

  1. Set up your Track Only Certain Hours to have Moment ignore certain hours of the day. In your case, it might be something like telling Moment to track only between 7 AM and 11 PM, essentially ignoring your Sleep Cycle app while you’re using it. This feature is part of the Pro Features upgrade.

  2. You can simply lock your phone after you start up Sleep Cycle. The app will work just fine with your phone locked, and Moment won’t count any of that time. This is what I do every night.

Moment is tracking my phone use, but the numbers seem inaccurate. What can I do to make sure my phone use tracking is super accurate?

Sometimes Moment isn’t perfect at detecting your phone use, especially in the first few days of using it.

If you want Moment to be super accurate (and save a ton of battery), the best thing to do would be to set up a passcode or Touch ID to unlock your device. You can do that from your Settings app > Touch ID & Passcode. That will make Moment 100% accurate in tracking all of the time your phone is unlocked, and skip the entire calibration process Moment goes through at the beginning of using the app.

If you have a passcode or Touch ID set up and Moment still doesn’t seem correct, check out your Settings app > Touch ID & Passcode, and look at the Require Passcode setting. If that’s anything other than Immediately, your phone remains unlocked even after you turn the screen off with the power button. Moment counts all of the time your phone is unlocked, so it adds 5 (or so) minutes onto every time you unlock your phone. That setting needs to be set to Immediately in order for Moment to track your phone use accurately.

Email me if you’re still having trouble after that. I’d be happy to help.

Where is my data stored and sent? Can I completely destroy my data?

You can find information about what data Moment collects and where it is stored in our Privacy Policy.

Any other legal pages I should know about?

Read through our Terms of Service, if you’re curious.

Can I export my data?

Yes. Open Moment and go into the settings. Scroll to the bottom to Advanced and you’ll see an option to Export Data. You can use this to email your data to yourself in two formats: a human readable version and a raw JSON version.

Need more help?

If you still have questions or something still isn’t working for you, email me, Kevin Holesh, the developer of Moment at kevin@inthemoment.io.