Making iPhone a Dumb Phone


I was kind of addicted to my phone for some time. Constantly receiving notifications, either from e-mail, twitter, texts, from any of hundreds of applications. And as it may seem fun for some time - it’s actually tiring and frustrating in a long run.

I started disabling most of notifications gradually to the point where I had no alerts or badges. That wasn’t enough for me. I kept going through applications to see “what’s up”. So I removed most of them. I also moved those not used so frequently to another screens and ended up with this home screen:

iPhone Home Screen

Home screen actually looks like this:

iPhone Actual Home Screen

So what do I use my phone for? Spotify (mostly), calls, calendar, contacts, photos, texts and to carry plane tickets or hotel reservations. I google something once in a while or check maps but Location Services are disabled by default.

I have my phone muted basically all the time, I kept badges on phone app to call people back.

When it comes to notifications in other apps here are the rules:

  • No alerts
  • No banners
  • No badges
  • No sounds
  • Not showing up in Notification Centre
  • Not showing on Lock Screen

Do I miss any of heavy used before applications? Actually - no. One of the most important thing about this setup is that when I’m with someone I can actually devote all my time and attention to the person I’m spending time with.

When I’m alone I can slow down and enjoy the moment instead of looking up what’s going on on the internet.

Do I miss anything important - oh no. I still use computer and can catch-up with everything important quite quickly. And actually - there will always be something you’ll miss. Important thing is to accept it and let it go.

It’s a totally stress-free setup which I recommend. It’s also totally in line with asynchronous communication style which I prefer at work.