Changes are afoot with Digital Wellbeing. In the past few weeks, we've seen Google confirm that the service doesn't affect the performance of Pixel devices, but more importantly, we've also spotted a new day selector for Wind Down mode and a pause button integrated in the launcher's app shortcuts and Recents. It's this latter aspect that has been improved further in Android Q Beta 4. Now, the app switcher will tell you when an app you've been using is about to be paused by Digital Wellbeing. Read More
One of the pillar features of Digital Wellbeing is the ability to "wind down" your device. That means switching the display to grayscale to make time-sink apps like social media ones less visually appealing, and turning on Do Not Disturb to stop notifications from waking you up or grabbing your attention. However, this setting was the same for every day — you couldn't disable it on Saturdays but keep it running every other day. But now you can. Read More
For a couple of weeks now, a rumor has been making its rounds on Reddit. A user posted a thread on r/Android where he explained how turning off Digital Wellbeing made his Pixel 3 blazing fast – to use his own words: "Holy Sh** my Pixel 3 is finally a flagship phone." Many commenters chimed in, claiming that their Pixels were gaining significant performance after turning off the health feature, while others said they didn't notice any difference at all. However, a Google engineer recently joined the discussion, explaining that Digital Wellbeing was not the culprit. Apparently, users experienced some sort of placebo. Read More
Not a lot has changed with Digital Wellbeing since its official release in November of last year, but we know big things are on the horizon for Google's built-in digital nanny. While the added Parental Controls and per-app grayscale settings aren't live yet, and likely won't be for a few more months, there's one significant addition in the latest Digital Wellbeing update. It's now integrated in the Pixel Launcher and provides an instant pause control for apps. Read More
I am weirdly zealous about separating my work life from my personal life. My sanity, such as it is, depends upon not having anxieties about my job bleed into my home life, and keeping the chaos and distractions of my personal, family, and creative life from disrupting my work time. After over a decade of almost exclusively working from home, I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into how I can configure the various components of my Google-powered digital life in a way that is efficient and deliberate rather than stressful and schizophrenic.
But as more aspects of our lives become enveloped by the technological, the easier it is for the demands of our jobs to shove their way into our hours off the clock. Read More
Google is well aware that its products are used by children, with the average age of kids receiving their first smartphone now down to eight. That's why the company has announced a whole slew of options for parents to control their minors' phone usage by putting Family Link features right inside Android Q's settings, for all devices receiving the latest OS. Read More
Individual apps can be set to display in grayscale in Android Q, according to the Android Developers website. It's hard to tell how the new functionality will eventually be implemented, though, as it doesn't seem to be present in the newly-available beta release. Read More
How often do you check your notifications? According to ActionDash, I receive about 500 notifications a day, unlocking my phone about 100 times, with half of these unlocks being for sessions shorter than a minute. These interruptions break my flow and reduce productivity levels, but my FOMO makes me check the phone anyway. There's a new app being tested to help deal with this: Daywise.
Google started talking about Digital Wellbeing last year at Google I/O, but the feature never appeared in any of the pre-release Android P builds. Eventually, its surfaced as a beta feature on Pixel phones running Pie. Digital Wellbeing has slowly branched out to Android One phones, and the Galaxy S10 is supposed to have it as well. The next target, the Moto G7. Read More
Samsung's Galaxy S10 announcement yesterday may have covered the phone's general features, but out of necessity, it skipped some details. For example, it turns out Samsung's latest includes Google's Digital Wellbeing for better managing limits on when and how you use your phone. But it isn't the only device picking up the feature, the two-year-old Nokia 6 and 8 have also just snagged it. Read More