Google’s New Digital Wellbeing Feature: Is it really New?

The advancement of technology has brought us many comforts, but it has also led to smartphone addiction. With each passing year, it is turning into an obsession and is affecting our lives. The rate at which we are becoming reliant on smartphones is alarming.

In this respect, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai at the annual developer conference I/O 2018 has launched a new feature called “Digital Wellbeing.” Aiming to help people deal with their smartphone addiction and understand what smart usage of a cell phone is.

But this raises a question: why and what made Google bring this feature? When Google is the cause of the problem, why is it trying to play doctor now? Can this announcement be linked with Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal, or there is something else to it? Is Google concerned about increasing smartphone addiction or is it all a myth, to keep itself safe and fly under the radar?

All these doubts might arise in your mind after hearing about this new feature.

But, looking at how things are turning it seems Google is just trying to play safe with this new Digital Wellbeing feature. It might have envisioned the future and to avoid a similar event, this approach is adopted. Instead of redesigning/ modifying the policies, why not bring a new feature and reform digital safety around personal health and wellbeing to keep users’ trust intact.

Google’s vice president Sameer Samat (product management) has said: “Helping people with their digital wellbeing is more important to us than ever.”

This new feature will be added to the latest version of Android P. Part of this is Android Dashboard, App Timer, Do Not Disturb and Wind Down.

Android Dashboard: A type of analytics tool that shows phone unlocked data.

App Time: An app manager tool that will show time spent with each app and allow users to set app usage limits for each app.

Do Not Disturb: Mute calls and messages.

Wind-down mode: Turns phone screen into grayscale before bedtime

google well being

But don’t you think it’s too late? Google is paying attention to this problem when others have already developed apps to tackle the problem of tech addiction. Google is not doing anything new or great. It’s just the name that may attract you and make you believe in it.

Instead of bringing something that is already there, why isn’t Google taking any step to cut down tech consumption?

To clarify what we are trying to say, we will describe an app named Social Fever. You can then compare Google’s Digital Wellbeing and Social Fever and see if there is anything new that Google is offering.

Social Fever: Disconnect From The Digital world & Re-connect with Reality

Spending too much time with apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and others isn’t going to help you. You are just wasting time if you’re using these apps anytime in the day for long hours. You can do other important things in this time and your body, eyes, ears need to relax. Time once gone doesn’t come back. Therefore, you should start thinking now.

Use Social Fever app and take charge of your life. Set goals and limit app usage.

Time to do something worthwhile and achieve real-life goals.

Social Fever app delivers thorough reports of smartphone usage at regular intervals and notifies if the set limit is exceeded. Thus, making you a smart user. Let’s discuss its features in detail.

Add Applications: This section opens on default when you first download and install the application. It allows you to add the applications to the list to keep a check on their usage. All you need is to add applications that you want to keep a check on.

Here you’ll see two sections: RECOMMENDED and ALL. Recommended already shows you the most used application for your Android device, if you want to add more to the list, go to the list and add from ALL.  Select the apps you want to add and then assign them the time you want to use daily. From Tracking Detail, you can edit and change the time limit for individual app usage. To do so, you need to tap on edit. Also, you can delete the app by tapping on the Trash icon.

Note: The default time is given as 30 minutes for each. Once done, tap on Let’s Go.

Once the apps are added you will see them under Most Used Apps on the Summary page. You can make changes to it by tapping on the View Details.

Most Used apps

Under the Tracking Summary, you can get other information. You can even see the active screen in total under the Screen time. The number of times the phone was unlocked under the Phone Unlock. The number of applications tracked on your device under the Total Tracked Apps. Also, Drinking Water will show you the Water consumption details.

To see individual app usage, tap on the View Details and you can check Today’s usage for each application.

A timeline with three sections: Daily App Usage, Last 7-day App Usage History, and Today’s App Usage %.

Manage Quality Time: Here, you can set a profile to enjoy distraction-free time with your family, friends, or yourself. By default, you will see three profiles. You can create more or can customize them according to you. Once the assigned time begins, you can enjoy the activity without the distractions from your phone as it will turn it into the DND mode.

Also, you can whitelist contacts that can contact you during Quality Time.

Interests: In our busy lives, we tend to forget our interests. The Social Fever app connects you to them. Once you set the interests, the app tells you what you could have done in the saved time. You can set interests like hiking, bicycle riding, cooking, dancing, gardening, swimming, yoga, and much more. This can be added in the Quality Time section. Select the + icon to add the Interest and add the name and time and then press SAVE to let the app remember your interest.

Water Reminder: Water keeps your body hydrated, but most of us forget to drink water. That is when this feature proves to be beneficial. Using this, you can also use the feature Water Reminder to stay hydrated.

To set the reminder, tap on water reminder > tap on default time and change the time. Here change the time.

Ear Health: We all like to listen to music on the go, but most of the time, we don’t know for how long we have been doing so. Under this section, you can set a reminder for earphone usage, and if the limit is crossed a warning message is displayed. By default, it is set to 30 minutes. You can alter it by tapping on several minutes.

Ear Health

Eye Health: Similar to Ear Health, you can set Eye Health reminders too. If you have been looking at your mobile screen for a long time, which is the active screen, the app shows you a reminder. Thus, helping you to give some rest to your eyes. By default, it shows a notification after 30 minutes which can be modified.

eye health

Features under Settings:

  • Show app tracking: Enable the “Show app tracking” feature, to see a real-time tracker against each selected app on the top.
  • Water Reminder: Enable it to receive water reminder notifications.
  • Show daily report: Want to see if you have met the goals or not look under this section.
  • Clear History: From this section, you can clean today’s tracking history, old tracking history, and clear app data.

Backstage Power Saving: Use this option to let the Social Fever app keep running while the power-saving mode is ON.

 

  • Show app tracking: Enable “Show app tracking” feature, to see real time tracker against each selected app.
  • Water Reminder: Enable it to receive water reminder notification.
  • Show daily report: Want to see if you have met the goals or not look under this section.
  • Phone Unlock Logs: See how many times you unlock the phone in day through this section.
  • Clear History: From this section, you can clean today’s tracking history, old tracking history, and clear app data.
  • Show Interest: Wish to edit interests using “Show Interest”, option.
  • Show tutorial: Want to see the tutorial once again use this section.
  • Backstage Power Saving: Use this option to let Social Fever app keep running while power saving mode is ON.

Conclusion:

Undoubtedly, Social Fever is a futuristic app. It offers amazing features, that will help you fight with smartphone addiction. Real time tracker, daily reminders, daily and weekly report, app usage history, set interests, eye & ear health and much more will help you to be a smart user. Using the app, you can save your valuable time and can spend it on other important things or with your real family & friends. Download this app and suggest to your social-addicted friends & relatives!

One COMMENT

  • Abhishek Sharma
    Google’s known for duplicating ideas and then using its reputation as the world’s biggest tech giant and getting instant hype. Take Files for Google. Is it the first file manager app? NO! Yet, it has 500M+ downloads on PlayStore. Unfortunately, no one wants to try an unknown or lesser-known brand despite it having better approach towards an idea.

    2 years ago Reply

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