Google introduced Digital Wellbeing, at the I/O event last year, to help users curb their smartphone addiction. Under the same initiative, Google has now launched 6 new apps to help you spend less time on your smartphones.
These experimental apps help users in different ways such as reducing smartphone usage, increasing awareness of time spent on phones, or limiting notifications.
1. Unlock Clock
This app makes you aware of your daily smartphone usage “by counting and displaying the number of times you unlock your phone in a day.” After installing the app, you can find Unlock Clock inside of Google’s Wallpapers app and use it as a live wallpaper. This will display the count of phone unlocks each time you open your phone.
2. Post Box
Post Box changes the traditional way of receiving notifications. Instead of getting hit by push alerts all throughout the day, you can choose a time or regular intervals (like breaks) to receive all the notifications at once. There is also an “I need to see my notifications now” option — in case of emergencies.
The third app is Morph which is basically an Android launcher but it shows different apps based on the time or your location. For instance, it can show you different apps based on your requirements at home or office. In the case of holidays, you can minimize the app count and try to be more present with others.
4. We Flip
This app is designed to cut down on smartphone usage when you are with a group of people. We Flip can pair every phone in a group and everyone flips their phone to start a “session.”
This session lasts until someone takes a peek at their phones. So the app tracks who unlocked their phones and provides a report on the same. For those who cannot resist the urge to text while spending time with friends and family, We Flip is a pretty clever app.
Desert Island is another launcher app with a different idea. It lets you pick only 7 apps to display at a time and keeps the rest hidden (you can access the rest through an icon at the top right). After 24 hours, you will receive a report on how well you did in focusing on just these apps and how many times you gave in to your urges and opened others.
6. Paper Phone
The last one is a unique app called Paper Phone. It lets you break away from your digital world “by printing a personal booklet of the key information you’ll need that day.”
Paper Phone lets you choose what to include such as favorite contacts, maps, and meetings and prints them directly to a sheet of paper that you can carry with you. This little experiment can help you get a digital detox from technology.
The above apps have been announced as an open platform by Google to allow designers and developers to submit ideas and try new things. Interested developers can head over to GitHub or download resources like “Hack Pack” and various APIs to create their own version of Digital Wellbeing apps.