Top Google’s Digital Wellbeing Apps And Experiments To Track Phone Usage

Google’s Digital Wellbeing

A couple of years earlier, Google introduced the world with Digital Wellbeing, an Android-based app usage tracker that helps users track phone usage and curb their addiction to the screen. It was Google’s way of letting users know how it wanted people to spend some time away from phones, which ultimately helped the company brand itself as some sort of a digital philanthropist. But only if this Digital Wellbeing Initiative had been launched sooner, Google might have had its way. Digital Wellbeing was not an innovation at Google’s part but was a Google-branded project adapted from other app usage tracking applications of the same kind.

Google’s Digital Wellbeing

Google Goes Creative with Digital Wellbeing App Experiments

Later, to improve Digital Wellbeing’s reach, Google upgraded it as an in-built feature in Android smartphones. But before that reached a wider audience, in-app activity trackers were integrated within apps like Facebook and Instagram. So now, Google Creative Labs and Google’s Special Projects initiative has taken upon themselves to develop experimental Digital Wellbeing apps for users. The purpose is to divert users from their phones by some unique and creative means rather than prompting them with a tracking alarm to aware them of their screen time on Android phones.

Top Google’s Digital Wellbeing Apps And Experiments

Google has been working on such experiments for a while now, and they have been joined by three new such creative Digital Wellbeing applications very recently. Here are the best Google’s Digital Wellbeing applications . Features:

  • The application Envelope has to be set as your default launcher app. Once that’s done, keep your phone inside the paper Envelope from Google.
  • The paper has got a keypad on it. You can make calls by tapping the paper keypad on the envelope. Your phone-screen would be able to sense the capacitance of your fingers from over the paper.

envelope

  • You won’t be able to look at the screen anymore. So, your phone would only be used to make calls. You can, however, access the fingerprint lock as the envelope has got a hole in it to access that.
  • Once you’re done with your work, you can take your phone out of the paper and see how long you’ve used it.

9. Digital Detox

Digital Detox is more of a Digital Wellbeing extension for Chrome and hence is not available for your mobile phone. It’s basically meant to help sustain a similar sense of digital detox and Digital Wellbeing on the web as well. The idea here is to calculate the amount of daily scrolling on the web in the form of distance traveled. This would allow users to track how much they’ve scrolled through on the web.

Features:

  • Add the extension to Chrome. Then continue going through your social media and other web scrolls.
  • As you scroll, it would be calibrated as a distance traveled and would be directly put on the track of Camino Frances.
digital detox
Image Source: Experiments With Google
  • Camino Frances is a pilgrimage route people travel on foot from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
  • No, you aren’t walking the path for real, but your scrolling distance would be compared against this 500 miles route.
  • This way, you’ll know if you’re scrolling way too much to equal the distance of Camino Frances in 30-35 days. If yes, then you need a digital detox.

10. Anchor

Anchor is another Chrome extension created to aware people of the web about digital wellbeing. It does nothing but converts your screen into an ocean. You’d see fish like figures and aquatic bodies floating on your screen. As you scroll down, it’ll be like going down the ocean just like an anchor from a ship does.

Features:

  • The extension converts your screen into an ocean. You’d be able to see the screen’s content with aquatic beings floating around.
anchor
Image Source: Experiments With Google
  • The screen starts turning dark blue, as it keeps getting dark in the ocean as you go down like an anchor.
  • It stops as soon as you hit rock bottom of the ocean. This way, you’d be able to control your habit scrolling through the news feed for long.

11. Paper Phone

Paper Box may help in sustaining Digital Wellbeing and achieving digital detox, but it would lead you to a lot of stress before that. Paper Phone allows users to literally print important details from their phone via a nearby printer.

You can choose for yourself the important details you’ll need that day from your phone, print them through a printer, and then keep your phone aside and use those prints to access those details. Sounds like a headache, right? And a clear waste of paper.

Features:

paper phone

  • Choose details to print from your phone. You can choose from Contacts, Pictures, Navigations, Day’s Calendar, Notes, Weather, etc.
  • There are limitations in choice. For example, you can choose up to seven important contacts to print only. Similarly, you can choose just one navigation per print [only useful if you can read maps.

maps

  • You can’t have Noted from your phone to be printed but can have an empty piece of paper to take notes for the day.
  • A PDF would be created of all the details you have marked important for the day. Print them, take it as a booklet, and leave for your work. The idea is to use these papers of information to access any detail rather than unlocking your phone.
  • Paper Phone also has games such as Sudoku, which you can print and play on the go.

Our Pick

These Google Digital Wellbeing experiments are being created to spread the awareness of digital detox in unique and creative ways, and some of them are literally exceptional. I used all of them, besides Envelope, as the paper wasn’t available, and I found Morph as the top pick.

morph

Firstly, it’s not keeping you from using your phone but is the only restricting certain app, or we can say it is setting up your phone as per your daily routine. You can keep just Work Apps on-screen while at work and set Morph to switch to Entertainment Mode at the time you usually are at home. This basically helps you divide your time properly and prevents unnecessary waste of time over the phone.

Besides these, the live wallpapers Unlock Clock and Screen Stopwatch are pretty amazing. They aren’t stopping you from using your phone but are nagging you about how long you’ve been stuck to your phone with a glue.

Take Your Pick And Tell Us:

Use Digital Wellbeing app experiments from Google and tell us which one you like the most. These are some good fun experiments and are worth trying. So, pick one and hit the comments section.

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Take Note. And disable Digital Wellbeing app when you’re going through our feeds ;).

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