Product
October 6, 2022

Introducing the New Opal

Introducing the New Opal, a new, more powerful version of Opal, and the first app to connect to Screen Time API on iOS16.

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It's my great pleasure to introduce the New Opal, the first app to connect to Screen Time API on iOS16, making it easy for anyone with an iPhone or iPad to measure and improve their focus, both at work and outside of work.

With this update, we’re adding many of the most requested features from the community, and making Opal more powerful and reliable for the long run.

It’s a major milestone towards our vision to help 1B people focus better day to day, and accomplish their dreams.

How to Get the New Opal

If you are new to Opal, just sign up from our website or search for us on the App Store.

If you already have Opal, here's how to upgrade:

1. Make sure your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 16.

Go your iPhone's Settings => General => Software Update => make sure you update to iOS 16 or more.

2. Update Opal.

Go to the App Store, search for Opal, and update. Any version above 3.0 of Opal is the New Opal.

The announcement

Thank you Sarah Perez from Techcrunch for the covering the announcement:

Opal revamps its screen time app to help anyone, not just parents with kids, focus and avoid distractions

Here are the most important takeaways from the announcement:

  • With this update comes Focus Score®, a new technology to check your focus level at any point throughout the day, based on the apps you use. Measure your progress with clear metrics, important context and measure with your peers.
  • Since our launch, Opal built and operated its own VPN technology. This year Opal has partnered with Apple to connect to native iOS Screen Time technology via API, and make the experience better for everyone.
  • 200,000 people have installed Opal to focus better since 2021. Data shows they are less distracted (94%), experience better productivity (93%), enjoy increased well-being (90%) and save an average of 2 hours of screen time per day. Opal Impact Study.
  • Our mission is to help 1Bn people Focus better day to day (and accomplish their dreams). We believe in the power of technology for human progress, productivity and happiness.
  • Our mission matters more each day. “People spend around 4 hours per day on their phone, starting age 12. To put this into perspective, this means that they will spend 17 years of their life staring down at a phone. The new Opal makes it incredibly easy to manage your screen time, be less distracted and focus on what really matters.”
  • Opal for iOS16 is now live on the App Store and available for anyone to download - https://opal.so. Opal is also available on the Chrome Store to use it on your Desktop.
  • You can discover more about Opal features, about our Company directly from our new website, or join our Community board for the latest update.
Opal_Homescreen
The New Opal - a more powerful Opal to help 1Bn people focus bette day to day.

3 Benefits of This Upgrade:

Once you upgrade to the New Opal (here’s how to do it), you’ll upgrade in the following ways:

  1. Farewell, VPN. The Opal app works without a VPN. In fact, we're the first app to use screen time API on the very new iOS, which just launched. It's now easier than ever to block apps and analyse your screen time data. One of the things we can do is we can shield apps from your phone and then bring them back at any point of time without any friction.
  2. A new Focus Score to help you check your focus level at any point throughout the day, with clear metrics, important context and keys to help you compare with your peers.
  3. A New Brand: we're moving from a very playful mascot which we loved to a brand identify that is precious like your focus and your dreams.
Focus Report - a new way to measure your progress, better than screen time.
Sessions allow you to remove apps from your phone while you're focusing.

How Blocking Works

Here's a quick video demo showing you how you can use the new Opal to block apps and focus better day to day.

A Video For You

I recorded a video for our community and I’d love it if you could take a look, and send me any comments or reactions you have. Below is the video and I also included a transcript (generated automatically, so there might be some typos).

Thank you, and please join me on our Community board for the latest updates and discussions about Opal. I contribute regularly and our team does too.

We need all the help we can to accelerate on our path to help 1Bn Focus better day to day, and create better technology for everyone.

Kenneth

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Video Transcript

What’s new today:

  1. First farewell, VPN. The app works without a VPN. In fact, we're the first app to use screen time API on the very new iOS, which just launched this week.It's now easier never to block apps and get your screen time data. One of the things we can do is we can remove apps from your phone entirely and then bring them back at any point of time without any friction.
  2. The second thing is we're introducing a new focus score, focus score is gonna help you check your focus level at any point throughout the day.We're very, very clear metrics, important context and keys to help you compare with your peers.
  3. And the last thing you noticed already is a brand new updates on, on the brand. And the reason we're doing this is we're moving from, you know, very playful, which we loved to precious like your focus and, and your dreams.

So if you stick around, I'm gonna talk about a few more things in this video.

First I'm gonna tell you about why this update matters.We're gonna preview together and demo together our app before it hits the press and before it goes live we're gonna do this full product demo.And also I'm gonna keep a few surprises if you stick around.

Helping 1B Focus Better day by day

So first now, why are we here together? When we launched back in 2020, and many of you, I know we're here from day one, we launched just as the pandemic was about to hit.We set out to manifesto and what we send as manifesto is we today collectively spend the majority of our lives in front of screens.And actually data's shown that this 10 has accelerated ever since. And the question is not so much about the time we spend the question is who's in control that time.Many of us don't feel in control anymore of our time. And what we believe is when we take back control over our time, we have a powerful tool to fulfill our potential, every single and EV every, each and every single day.So we have a very optimistic view of the future. We just need to change things and change a trend that's been, that's been around for now, you know, the better the better part of a decade around the attention economy.And what we've done is we've clarified that mission because what we realized is, you know, time of course, is very valuable and it's valuable in particular because the people you, our community are telling us that it's helping you do extraordinary things claiming back that time is helping you spend more time with loved ones.It's helping you be work better. It's helping you build projects that you wouldn't have done otherwise. And we really believe that it's helping many, many people around the world accomplish their dreams.And this is why today we are the focus company and our mission together with the entire community is to help 1 billion people focus better day to day so they can accomplish their dreams.We believe in the power of technology for human progress, productivity and happiness.

200,000 of us

I'm actually thrilled to say that as, as of a few days ago, we passed 200,000 gems. So we're in good company here. And in total, over 20 million hours focused with Opal that's over 20 million hours spent on Opal sessions. So our mission is of course, huge. We're gonna need the help of every one of you. And this app update is a major milestone, but it certainly doesn't end here.What we do is very hard. We're working against many extremely well funded companies. They're all trying to steal your attention and we're gonna need every single one of you to help in that fight.We're 200,000 Gems!

Thank you.

So what I wanna say also is thank you because many of you, 200,000 of you have been here for a long time now, and we have a very active community.We have we've seen so many feature requests. We've seen so many feedback bug reports that helped us get to that point.And I wanna highlight this ex, which is very important. One of the reasons we have Screentime API today, one of the reasons we're first up globally to have access to screen time API is because in our relationship with apple, we've been able to prove that what we do matters that our time matters.We've been able to prove by building this technology by building this VPN that we have a very important use case, and that's certainly helped prioritize the work and help us get access to this API and help us get to where we are today.Now, a few examples. These are some of the top most requested features from you, the community. I'm actually thrilled to say that all of these, all the ones you just saw on this screen are now solved with this new app. So again, farewell, VPN welcome the new Screentime API. This is gonna be a much more powerful, much more reliable version of the app going forward.

How the New Opal works

And so, you know, with this, I want to introduce the new Opal and I'm gonna do this in a very simple way.I'm actually gonna walk you through the app, which you're gonna be able to use in a few in, in a very, in a very Short moment. So here it is, here's the new Opal. So as you can see completely redesign experience, and you're gonna find some things that are familiar and some things that are completely new.

Home Screen

So the first thing that you might notice here is there's a graph on the home screen, and this shows your focus score and focus score is something that we've worked tasty on for months now to build an indicator based on your screen time data that helps you understand your focus hour by hour and day by day. It takes to consideration the apps you use, how long you spend on them, the pickups, how many times you pick up your phone as well as the offline time. So essentially how much time you spend disconnected to recharge. And, you know, all apps are not created equal. So TikTok is not the same as Gmail.You know, Google calendar is not the same as Instagram. So what we've done is we've actually rated apps based on their distraction level.And that actually is all blended into this to this focus score. So what you're able to do is you're able to understand throughout your day. So this is actually an example of the day where I was very focused. I didn't use my phone that much. My total screen time, as you can see right now on this screen is two hours in the 49 minutes from today. And I've used a lot of work apps. So I actually, haven't been very distracted. This is an important launch day for us, but what you can see is you can actually scroll back and see the evolution of your score with some important context on, on how it works.

Focus Score Tab

If you go to the score tab, you're gonna be able to get even more details. So for example, here I can scroll down and I can see the various apps that I've used. So I use notion quite a bit in this hour, I can also look at the entire day if I tap again, I'm gonna see the I'm gonna see the entire day.And, you know, for every single hour, you're gonna be able to see which apps you've used, the contribution to the score, that's little numbers next to the, the, the seconds and minutes here, how much time I've spent offline and how many pickups. So for example, here, if I pick this is 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM today, you know, I spent nine minutes on WhatsApp that hurts my focus score by 0.7 out of 10.And I have been offline for 35 minutes. So I haven't used my phone at all at that time. And then I had 19 pickups. So this will help you understand a lot better. Your state of focus every single day. You can go back in time, of course.And we're also actually offering you a forecast, which you can see here, which will help you basically understand the average time.What, what was your average focus in previous days and how this might happen in, in, in the next in the next few hours?So that's focus, score now sessions.

Sessions

So sessions is very similar to the old experience. What, what sessions allows you to do is to temporarily remove apps from your phone while you're focusing, there's a, an element at the bottom here that you can tap, you can launch a focus session very easily.You can name it, whatever you like, and I'm gonna do this, you know, focus demo, for example right now, and then you can select the duration.You can select which apps you're gonna block. As well as the protection level sell the same, you have normal protection and deep focus protection just as before deep focus, of course means you can't cancel, or you can't bypass the timer.And then you can choose to make it recurring. If you'd like this to be something that is closer to a schedule where you can say every single day, for example, Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Friday at a specific time, I want this session to start now.I'm gonna go back to the, to the screen and show you what happens when I, when it hit start session. So here I'm in a focus session, I'm blocking apps, for example, like social apps right now.Blocking AppsNow what happens here is unlike the previous VPN experience, I'm gonna try to search for, for example, Instagram here.And as you can see Instagram isn't available anymore. So I can actually go here just because I can update my app on the app store, but I can't open Instagram anymore. So this is something that is completely new. The app is completely disappeared from my phone, but if I if I take a break, by the way, we add a little buffer here to make you think about before taking a break, but in eight seconds, I'm gonna be able to take a break.The app is gonna magically re-appear on the phone. So that session now a few more, you know, cool things on this, on this version of the app, I'll let you explore.

MileStones: Precious Rewards on your journey to Focus.

But one of the great things that we're excited about is milestones. So this main element that you're seeing in the middle of the screen here, this main gem actually means something it's something you, you unlocked. So if you tap on it, you're gonna be able to, to discover milestones that I've unlocked and those that I haven't unlocked yet. So for example, here skilled gem at the bottom, I have been very focused during my work hours, and that's how I unlock this gem here.If I tap on it and use back as background, I'm gonna be able to choose this beautiful, precious milestone as a core experience of the app, another example here, if I go to community's tab, I'm gonna be able to see how I rank compared to others.How how, how long have I focused on the app today? And this is just one of the features we're gonna build in the coming months to help the community support each other, inspire each other so they can focus better and accomplish our dreams.There's many other cool features on the, on this new version that I'll let you discover because starting a few hours from now, you're gonna be able to update your app directly and experience this as long as you're on iOS 16. So that's it for the demo.

The Opal Community Board

So another thing we just introduced, which I'm personally extremely excited about is the community board, the community board is available online. It's also available through the app online it's http:///community.opal.so . So, and on there, you can meet other members of the community.You can chat with them you can learn from them and you can also learn and comments about latest op open news share feature requests. So once you're on this site, you can see various categories. We post very regularly on that. For example, you can see Monday's team up or last week's team updates right here which gives you a overview of like what we've been working on.Feel free to comment, feel free to tag us, feel free to share anything you wanna share with us on here.This is the place for the community, and this is where we want every member of the Opal community to discuss, to share, to learn from one another, because what we're doing is difficult.Focusing better is extremely hard, especially when we have extremely well funded competition in the sense of every single distraction company in the world, every single attention economy app in the world.And so we wanna work with you to make that dream a reality.

Our Beloved Opal Mascot

Now, just a little word about our very well beloved mascot. As you know, this was our previous brand, and I want to tell you a little bit about why we decided to make that change.This is obviously a very beautiful brand. We loved it's so much, but what we came to realize in the last year and a half, we've been live on the app store and with the 200,000 members with this community is that focus is precious.When we started, we believe that if you to change someone's behavior, you need to be supportive. You need to be fun.And we still very much believe that, but we also believe that what we do is importance and what we do is precious, and this is what we move the brand from very playful to very precious.But as you can see, we're keeping the reference and we're keeping we're keeping the synchronicity here by making our brand evolve with while you know, staying inspired by the legacy of Opal, as you can see, it's, it's quite it's quite clear now, one last thing, because you're listening to this video and you've been here since the start, there's actually a very special reward that you're gonna get when you download this app, because you've been with us since the start we decided to give every one of you a very special milestone, which you can unlock. It's called the original gem, the OG, and you can actually use it straight from the app as long as you've downloaded and creating accounts before today.And you've been with us up to now, you're gonna get this original gem mascot, which allows you to stay in sync with our beloved mascot.

Success, Together

So, yeah, we're launching today at 2:00 PM, ET.

We're gonna do some press. We're gonna launch the app on the app store, feel free to share it with your friends, to share it on social media.If we want to succeed, we want to succeed and we need all of your help. We need your help to make this community bigger, stronger.And we need to, we need to make sure that everyone in the world is aware that it is possible. It is possible to focus better. It is possible to accomplish our dreams. It is possible to make technology beneficial to one of us. So that's why I'm count on you for this launch.You can actually update the app at 2:00 PM, ET you're gonna, if you're on iOS 16, feel free to share with your friends, feel free as well to head to community dot op. So create an account, start sharing start sharing with us.And I wish you a wonderful day.

And I wish you extremely the beginning of a journey for an extremely focused and happy life.

Thank you.

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