Marco Arment is well known for working at Tumblr, creating Instapaper and Overcast, and for being a fairly prolific podcaster. Needless to say, he’s dabbled his toes in lot of different areas. One area that has remained virtually untouched by Arment is, oddly enough, the Mac.

As someone whose name is so synonymous with iOS development, it’s surprising that Quitter, a brand new app based around auto-quitting distracting apps after a set period of inactivity, is Arment’s first app release for the long-existing platform.

Quitter is a menu bar utility that allows users to establish rules for apps deemed to be distracting. For example, I may conclude that Tweetbot is taking up too much of my time, and add a rule to either quit or hide the app after an established interval of time.

Apps added to Quitter are set with an inactivity threshold of 10 minutes by default, but users can opt to change that value to be shorter or longer depending on their needs. Users can also opt to simply hide the app instead of outright quitting it as set by default.

Video walkthrough

Marco recommends disabling the Keep In Dock option for apps that you intend to quit, as doing so will allow these apps to be removed from the dock upon termination.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rules that you establish, and Quitter accommodates such exceptions by letting you quickly suppress its rules via the disable option in the menu bar.


Quitter certainly isn’t the first app that aims to reduce distractions, but being that it’s free and from a respected developer, it’s likely that it will do well within the Mac community. I like the fact that it’s not a tool that outright restricts usage of so-called distracting apps, making you feel guilty in the process. Instead, it kindly hides or quits selected apps after an elapsed period of time.

Marco explored the possibility of deploying Quitter via the Mac App Store, but states that it’s not able to be sandboxed, which isn’t surprising given its functionality. You can download Quitter for free from Marco’s website.

How do you currently deal with apps that serve as a distraction? Would you consider using Quitter to rein them in?

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