5217, a productivity app made by well-known developer Francisco Franco, has been updated with a new Freemium payment model. Anyone that might be interested in trying new methods for boosting productivity can install the app and give it a try for 10 free work cycles. In addition to the new payment model, 5217 has been updated to include a host of new notification options, Android Wear support, and stats for users.

If you haven't used 5217, the app is simple. When you start working you open it and press the FAB button, it then slowly counts down from 52 minutes. This is the first of the two periods in which you are supposed to work as usual. When your 52 minutes are up, and it reaches zero, you are notified that it's break time, and the counter begins again from 17. When your break is over, you are again notified, and things start over again at 52 minutes.

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The design of the app is lovely, with just three interaction elements on the bottom of the screen, and a big simple set of numbers in the middle counting down on a colored background. The sounds and animations are simple and undistracting, but distinctive. As the timer progresses the shade of blue in the background slowly lightens toward white, so if you keep your display on while working, you can see the timer count down by color from a simple glance.

The app turns work into cycles. If you are familiar with the pomodoro technique, it is basically the same thing, but allegedly tuned to a particular pair of times that are an ideal combination for productive working (at least, according to The Muse). I can't speak to the science behind 5217, but in my use over the last week I found that scheduling my work and break periods made me much more focused during both. Not only was I less distracted while working, since I knew exactly when my break was coming, but I was less likely to feel anxious to jump back in or monitor emails and comments when resting. And having a more relaxing break means I came back to productive work more refreshed.

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There are other pomodoro-style apps out there, but I wouldn't be recommending 5217 if it didn't have more going for it than its competitors. In addition to the fantastic support you get from developer Francisco Franco — who admirably tolerated my constant harassment this past week without seeking a restraining order — you also get Android Wear support, a beautiful material design, and extensive options to better refine the use of 5217 into your workflow.

In the options menu, you'll find ways to tweak your work and break cycle notifications to better fit your workflow, such as notification LED support with the same gradual whitening, screen wake on alerts, a keep display on option for docked use, and volume and vibration settings. You can also be notified on your workdays to start your timer in the morning and set and adjust the time you usually start work.

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I guess it turns out my ritual Rocket League breaks between articles are good for productivity. Now I just need to find a way to talk Artem into paying me for that time spent "working."

Feel free to check 5217 out over at APKMirror or at Google Play via the widget below.

Looks like there was some small trouble with the update and Google's billing APIs. All resolved now, but Franco has a post on the subject over on his G+ that's worth a look.

5217 for improved productivity
5217 for improved productivity