Google wants you to use your smartphones less. It is not to say that the developer doesn’t want you to use your smartphone at all, rather it would like you to adopt healthy usage habits such as taking power naps and spending time with your family.
Google has been working on the Digital Wellbeing initiative since 2018 with the launch of Android 9 Pie, and now it has launched three new experimental apps that improve the idea of healthy smartphone usage.
The first and wackiest of these apps is Envelope, which only works with the Google Pixel 3a for now. The app helps you print out a special PDF, fold it into an envelope, and place your smartphone in it. The new Google App, Envelope, is designed to allow you to access the phone dialler and camera once the app is installed.
The other two apps are Activity Bubbles and Screen Stopwatch, both of which work on a wide range of Android smartphones. These two apps essentially have live wallpapers for Android smartphones and have their unique way of letting you know how much you’ve been using your smartphone. This feature will help you to encourage you to limit usage.
The New Google App, Activity Bubbles, creates a new bubble that is placed on your screen when you unlock the phone. The longer you stay on your mobile, the larger the bubble grows. The bubbles reset at the end of the day, but the goal is to let you know your usage of the phone.
Screen Stopwatch has a large timer that ticks away for every second that your device is unlocked with the screen on. The stopwatch timer will reset at the end of the day.
While neither of the apps limits your smartphone usage like some of the other Digital Wellbeing projects, the goal is to give you an insight into how much you use your phone, and rely on your self-discipline to get things done.