RescueTime for Android adds Website Reporting

(Firefox users: up vote this if you want support on Firefox for Android: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=908224)

We just pushed an update for our Android app that adds the ability to report on time you spend browsing on your phone or tablet. Get it here:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rescuetime.android

To do this, we needed use Android’s Accessibility services, and this requires an elevated privilege you will need to manually enable. Our app will walk you through this when you click the “Enable website logging” option. However, here is a brief explanation of the process:

1) Open up the RescueTime app and click the settings button (the gear icon). Click the “Enable website logging” option. This will automatically take you to the system Accessibility Settings screen, if it needs to be enabled.

RescueTime Settings

2) Find RescueTime in the Services list on the Accessibility settings screen and select it. On older devices you may already see an “on/off” switch for RescueTime here, just select On and you are done.

Screenshot_2013-08-16-10-38-53

3) After tapping it, on newer devices it opens the screen for enabling the service for RescueTime that has a description of the service. Click “On” to enable it. This automatically signals RescueTime to begin looking for site info in browsers.

Screenshot_2013-08-16-10-39-01

4) Achieve success! Supported browsers are: the stock Android browser, just called “Browser”, the Nexus series stock browser (a version of Chrome), Chrome (the version in the app store), Chrome Beta, and Dolphin. Not supported: Firefox and DolphinMini.


3 Comments on “RescueTime for Android adds Website Reporting”

  1. durrant900 says:

    This is amazing!

    Been hoping you would add this feature.

    Any plans to extend this to Firefox mobile?

    • Mark Wolgemuth says:

      Do you mean Firefox mobile OS platform, or the Firefox mobile browser for Android? I’m guessing the latter.

      I spent a fair bit of effort to try to find a solution for Firefox on Android that could match the reliability of the Chrome and Android Browser method, but it’s just not there. Firefox does not propagate events to announce location changes based on your activity like the others do– which is I think a bit of a shortcoming, because someone who is using this in the context of assistive feedback wouldn’t know the site domain changed. In Firefox, I can only detect when the user actually enters the domain directly in the location bar (rather than, for example, tapping a link), so the results are just too unreliable.

      I may try reaching out to the Firefox devs to see what they might consider doing.

      The one caveat here is that it may be possible to port some of our Javascript implementation to work as a mobile browser plugin to Firefox, but that is a bit clunky with a lot of moving parts.

  2. Thanks Mark, this is great — I have voted up your request too, looking forward to this. I am using addons for Firefox on Mobile that don’t exist for Chrome so I’d rather not switch back — but I love the idea of being able to track my mobile activity with RescueTime too.