As phones become an integral part of our lives, Google is doubling down on its digital wellbeing efforts by launching Digital Wellbeing Experiments. The company says these experiments are aimed at encouraging developers and designers to build digital wellbeing tools in their products and services. To start things off, Google is introduced six experimental digital wellbeing apps for Android users – Unlock Clock, Post Box, We Flip, Paper Phone, Desert Island, and Morph. All new digital wellbeing apps are now available via Google Play Store.
According to Google, Unlock Clock is a lock-screen live wallpaper that shows how often you unlock your smartphone in a day. The company hopes this will better help you understand your smartphone usage. Since it is a live wallpaper, it won't appear as an app on your phone after installation and you will find it in your live wallpaper library. You can download it for free.
As the name suggests, Post Box is like your typical post box that collects all the notifications in one place and delivers them all at once at a scheduled time in a neat way. This is supposed to help you minimise distractions. You can choose how often you want to see the notifications. Post Box can also be downloaded for free from Google Play Store.
We Flip hopes to cultivate community digital wellbeing. It allows users to switch off from technology in a group and spend time together in the physical world.
“Simply wait for everyone to join, then flip the switch together to begin your session. If someone in the group unlocks, the session will end and you'll be able to see how you did,” Google explains.
You can head over to the Google Play Store to download We Flip.
Paper Phone helps you disconnect by printing a personal booklet containing key information for which you would normally need your smartphone. The app allows you to choose what to include in the booklet, including contacts, maps, calendar information, and more. You can also create paper apps for recipes, phrasebooks, and notepads. Paper Phone is available for free via Google Play Store.
Desert Island aims to limit your dependence on the tech by challenging you to get through a day by just sticking to essential apps. You can choose the important app, up to seven, and then see if you can last through the day. You can download Desert Island from Play Store.
Lastly, Morph is an Android launcher that shows different apps based on time and location. By doing this, the app hopes to keep your focussed on important tasks.
“Simply think about how you divide your time and choose the apps that are most important to you in each mode. Based on time or place, your phone will automatically adapt - giving you just the right apps at just the right time,” Google writes. Morph is also available via Google Play Store.
To recall, Google had launched its Digital Wellbeing tools for Pixel smartphone users in November last year. The company later expanded the support for non-Google devices, and more and more smartphone makers are incorporating them in their Android devices. The likes of OnePlus have even gone ahead and released their own digital wellbeing tools like Zen Mode. As per a recently leaked internal Google document, the company has made it mandatory for the Android smartphone makers launching devices on Android 9 Pie or Android 10 to include digital wellbeing tools in their phones in order to get Google Mobile Services.