Hold is an app developed specifically for university students. If you’ve found yourself struggling to work and unable to get away from the temptation of Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat then you may well benefit from Hold.
The app locks your phone for 20 minutes at a time, showing only the time lapsed on Hold. When you press the button your 20 minutes begins, and you can keep the 20-minute cycles going as long as you’d like. Every 20 minutes, you are awarded 10 points. Your points add up and once you have enough, you can spend them on prizes. It works as great motivation to keep building up your points and focus on your work.
Prizes include a £2 voucher for Costa in return for 1,000-points and even £5 vouchers for New Look and Amazon for 2,500. There are many more such as the free driving lesson from Midrive and a scratch and win Nike gift card for £50. I appreciated the schoolbooks, footballs, or pencils which you can donate to Unicef. Not using your phone while also working well? Sounds like a great deal to me.
Getting the app was a win-win situation. Not only was I not using my phone, but getting real and usable rewards in return for it. Getting to the 1,000-point mark felt like a real achievement. Going into town to get my coffee, I felt quite proud of myself.
When I tried to exchange my hard work for my chai latte (a last-minute change of heart), however, I was told that there was no money attached to the code which Hold gave me to scan. Luckily, I had enough on my Costa rewards card to get it for free anyway. Having emailed Hold to get my points back and try again, I still haven’t received a reply. Rather disappointing.
The other disadvantages of the app are that it stops working after 11pm and tells you to go to sleep. I do understand its reasoning behind the curfew, encouraging students to have a healthy sleeping pattern and stop working at a good time and stopping smartasses like me who try to keep it on to collect points while sleeping. But I regularly work later than 11pm and adjust my sleep accordingly. If it shut down at midnight this would be a good compromise and also make it more useful.
Overall, Hold did stop me from using my phone for a long time and allowed me to get a lot of work done. I have found myself using my phone less because of it. There are, however, still a lot of problems with it. The prizes take a long time to get and won’t necessarily work. Despite this, I would recommend it to other students because at the end of the day I got my head down and finished my essay long before the deadline—all thanks to Hold.
The app is available for both apple and android devices and can be downloaded for free.