If most of your app blocks are working on iPhone or iPad, but you're still having trouble with Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, or other social media and messaging apps, it may because these apps use a type of connection that is harder to break with our app blocker. These blocks sometimes won't kick in until several minutes into a session, or may require extra steps to get blocks working.
Airplane Mode Fix
Here's a quick tip to make sure your blocks kick in immediately: Just turn Airplane Mode on and off again. Toggling Airplane Mode will clear out some caches on your phone and break the constant connection these apps use, which will then block your apps. Your feeds will not refresh and you will see network connection error messages.
Another tip: You can also log out of an app like Facebook, Instagram etc., start a blocking session, and then turn Airplane mode on and off again -- you will be unable to log back in for the rest of your block session.
If possible, we recommend waiting a few minutes into a session before opening these hard-to-block apps. Continually refreshing the app will make it difficult for the blocks to kick in.
WhatsApp and Other Messaging Apps
A little while ago, Whatsapp added end-to-end encryption to their mobile clients. This means the mobile clients act like a VPN. This is good for your security and privacy, but it makes it hard to block.
One thing that seems to work is to force-quit the Whatsapp app (swipe it up), which breaks the connection. If it reconnects, it can be swiped up again. Alternatively, you can remove the Whatsapp app and block the iOS App Store to prevent re-download.
As we get a better understanding of what Whatsapp is doing, by reverse-engineering the service, we may change our approach, but this will happen automatically on the back-end.
Automating Airplane Mode
Evan, one of our users, offers this idea for automating the toggling of Airplane mode using Shortcuts on iOS:
- On your iPhone or iPad, open the Shortcuts app
- Tap "Automation," then "Create Personal Automation"
- Choose "Time of Day" and set it to the beginning of your Freedom session, then tap Next
- Tap "Add Action" and then "Scripting"
- Add "Set Airplane Mode," "Wait," and then "Airplane Mode" again, making sure it says "on" the first time and "off" the second time.
6. Tap "Next" and then "Done." Airplane mode should now be toggled automatically at the time you set!
If you continue to experience any issues with Freedom, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to help!