Google has launched a new Android Digital Wellbeing tool called Focus Mode. The feature helps users temporarily pause their apps so that they can focus on tasks at hand. Users can select apps they think are distracting — like social media and games — and if they try to open them, the Focus Mode feature will remind users that the app is paused.
According to Google, Focus Mode will also silence the apps’ notifications until one is ready to switch out of the digital wellbeing mode.
Google also recently launched the Paper Phone, aimed at digital wellbeing for users. The app lets users choose what to include in a particular day, including contacts, maps etc, and print them directly on a sheet of paper.
A 2018 study by the Android team found that mobile devices often create a sense of habit and obligation that is hard to move away from, even as people strive to find a balance in the way they engage with technology.
Accordingly, they have in the past years released a slew of digital wellbeing features to tackle smartphone addiction. Here are a few examples:
The digital wellbeing feature is lock-screen live wallpaper that reminds users how often they have unlocked their smartphones in a day. The free to download feature can be found under Live Wallpapers in Android phones.
Another digital wellbeing experiment, it helps minimise distractions for users, by holding notifications until a time that suits the user. Users can choose how often they would like notifications to been delivered, and when they do arrive, they will be neatly organised for users to go through.
The app helps users find focus by showing them only essential apps that the users chose themselves. Once users have chosen the apps they feel is essential to them, the session continues for 24 hours.
The app enables Android users to switch off from technology as a group so that people can spend some quality time together. Users have to wait for a particular group to join in and then flip the switch together to begin session. If someone from the group unlocks, the session ends enabling users to see how they did.
The app allows users to stay focused by adapting the phone to a user’s needs. Users can simply choose the apps they feel ar4e most important to them in each mode and the phone will automatically adapt, giving them the right apps at the right time.