The Try Dry app’s top ten features

Richard Piper | December 2021 | 9 minutes

There are dozens of drink tracker apps out there. Some of them allow you to track or count dry days (‘sobriety apps’) and some of them allow you to enter any drinks you’ve consumed so you can track your units (‘unit trackers’). The free Try Dry app combines both of these functions; and does so much more.

In 2021, Try Dry was a Finalist in the BIMA10 Awards, competing against other cutting edge digital products and it’s now passed a quarter of a million downloads. So what makes it so good? Here are its top ten features, in addition to its ability to count dry days and track units.

1. Cumulative savings

Try Dry encourages us to enter our ‘baseline drinking’ when we first log in. 97% of users do this, unlocking our ability to see how many units of alcohol, and money, and calories we have saved from alcohol. These savings can be hugely motivating and we can view them, instantly, for the week to date, the month to date, the year to date and our forever total.

2. Friendly daily nudge

Try Dry comes, by default, with a daily notification to our device asking us to enter our data for the day. This is obviously helpful, just as a reminder, but quite quickly it becomes habit forming to expect the notification and to act on it, which starts to train us to expect to enter our data. We can even change the time of our notification (mornings are increasingly popular amongst users who have decided not to drink that day, entering their ‘teacup’ before breakfast!)

3. Highly visual calendar

The ‘teacups’ come into their own on the highly visual and interactive calendar. The calendar provides an at-a-glance summary of how our month is going and we can also click on a date and edit our entry.

4. Drank as planned

Most drink apps only have two categories – drank or dry. Try Dry has a powerful third category: drank as planned. This is vital for those of us who want to control our drinking without going completely alcohol-free. We want a daily status that is not automatically ‘negative’ if we’ve had a drink. If we planned to drink just one beer, and stuck to that, that’s worthy of a positive ‘drank as planned’ status.

5. Powerful drinks editor

For those of us using Try Dry to enter drinks, we’re provided with a powerful drinks editor. This lets us select where we drank (out or at home), what we drank, how strong it was, how much it cost (which can be edited by the user), and how many we drank. It automatically calculates the units for us. It even allows us to set certain drinks, that we might have frequently, as ‘favourites’ to avoid having to enter all the data each time.

6. Brilliant charts function

The charts are the place to go to see our data and trends over time. There are charts for units drunk, money spent and calories consumed and for pretty much any time period we can imagine (last 7 days, this week to date, last week, last 30 days, this month, last month, last 3 months, last 365 days, this year, last 3 years and even custom dates). We can even change how the charts presents the results, e.g. by day, week, month or year.

7. Drinking risk score

From the Try Dry dashboard we can access a simple, three-question quiz which produces our ‘drinking risk score’. Based on the validated and globally used AUDIT-C developed by the World Health Organisation, this gives an instant understanding of our current drinking risk and the change (up or down) since our last reading. We’re encouraged to undertake the quiz every three months. Watching our risk fall over time is hugely motivating.

8. Badges

Try Dry awards us with a wide range of badges, based on our achievements. There are badges for taking part in Dry January (entering data every day, even if you drank) and for staying totally dry in January. There are badges for our total number of (non-consecutive) dry days, from 1 day all the way up to 1000. There are badges for streaks, which are consecutive dry days, all the way from three days to 3 years, for people who are aiming to be alcohol-free. And then there are UK Moderator badges, which reward us for every week we stay at or below the low-risk drinking guidelines of 14 units; and the hugely popular Reducer badges, which reward us for drinking less than half our weekly baseline drinking, which are perfect for bringing our drinking down over time (we can reset your baseline at any time).

9. Goals

Badges are awarded to us by the app, but we can also take control, by setting ourselves a Goal. Our goal can match any one of the Badges above, but there is also an incredible custom goal feature, that allows us to set pretty much any goal we can think of. Dry until my birthday? Never drink on weekdays (except one on Wednesday after football)? A maximum number of units per week? All of these, and millions of more, are possible.

10. Missions

This is Try Dry’s newest feature. It allows us to claim special badges for achieving particular ‘missions’. There are currently 18 missions, with more to come, covering being dry for a theatre trip, a sports event, a nightclub, a meal out, a dinner party, our birthday, Christmas, a holiday and so on. Many of us have deeply-held (but untrue) assumptions that these events require alcohol. The missions are designed to help us experiment, by taking on these mini-challenges, and to help break those associations once and for all. Each mission accomplished is proof that the event is doable – and often even better – without alcohol getting in the way.

All of this comes for free. The Try Dry app can even be switched between English, French, German, Welsh and Norwegian; and more languages planned next year. There will be major new features coming, too, as we continue to work with our amazing user to co-design Try Dry to be the perfect buddy for your drinking journey, whoever you are and whatever your short-term and long-term drinking goals.

What are you waiting for? Download Try Dry today and take part in Dry January to double your chance of having a totally alcohol-free month. You can get it for free on the App Store and Google Play!