Scientists at University of Bonn, Germany, have developed a new app called 'Menthal' that tracks your daily smartphone usage. The app runs on Android 4.0 - or higher - version and tracks how much time the user is spending on the phone; which apps or games they frequent. The Menthal app is available as a free download from Google's Playstore.
The scientists conducted a study on 50 students over a period of 6 months. The report showed that a quarter of the students used their phones for over 2 hours each day. On average participants used their phones every 12 minutes on average and more than 80 times a day.
Menthal showed that Whatsapp was the most used app and the participants spent more than 15 percent of their time of the messaging service. Users spent 9 percent of their time on Facebook and gaming accounted for 13 percent.
"If you would like to go on a digital diet, we will provide you with the scales," said Alexander Markowetz, junior professor for computer science at the University of Bonn.
"Menthal will provide reliable data for the first time. This app can show us in detail what someone's average cell phone consumption per day looks like," Markowetz said.
Researchers stated that the app will be useful in recognizing 'how much cell phone usage is normal' and 'how excessive usage may be termed as an addiction.'
"We would like to know how much cell phone use is normal, and where 'too much' starts," Montag added. "Outright withdrawal symptoms can actually occur when cell phones cannot be used," he warned.
The scientists also believe that they can measure the severity and the progress of depression using cell phone data.
"We suspect that during a depressive phase, cell phone use will change in a measurable way," said researchers.
Researchers believe, people going through depression will make fewer phone calls and will venture outside less. The built in GPS in the smartphones can record the change in behavior. A psychiatrist can use the data from the patients' cell phones as a diagnostic tool and intervene accordingly.