As much as we love our phones and mobile tech, maybe we’re using them the wrong way. Well, at a minimum we might be using them too much. Google recognizes this and has a tool to help. It’s called Digital Wellbeing and it will change the way you look at your phone usage.

Our most recent podcast sees us discussing Digital Wellbeing, its features, and benefits. While it’s available for select phones at this time, we definitely recommend it for all users. And, for those who don’t have access, we think you’ll like Action Dash.

What is Digital Wellbeing?

There are three primary categories which make up Digital Wellbeing:

  • App Timer
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Wind Down

Holding all of this information is the Dashboard, which shows a breakdown of exactly how you use your device. This information includes a nice little pie chart, showing the apps that you have used the most.

Below the chart, Dashboard shares how many times you have unlocked your device, along with the number of notifications. Further down the list, there are various sections to help find “Ways to disconnect”.

App Timer

App Timer Digital Wellbeing Android Pie

The first option we are looking at is the App Timer found in the Digital Wellbeing section. This will allow you to set limits to how long an application can be used.

As you approach the end of the timer, a notification will appear revealing how much time is left. Once the timer is up, the app icon will be greyed out, hopefully curbing your desire to open the app.

Of course, you can just bypass this timer, and continue using the app regardless. However, Google is hoping that App Timers will help keep you on your p’s and q’s and out of time-wasting apps.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb Digital Wellbeing Android Pie

Obviously, DND has been around on Android for quite some time. But, Google has brought a few new enhancements with the help of Digital Wellbeing.

In previous iterations of Android, Do Not Disturb mode would only silence sounds and vibrations of notifications. With Digital Wellbeing in Android Pie, any visuals attached to those notifications will also cease.

This means that your screen won’t light up at an inopportune time to distract you from your current task. But once DND is turned off, everything will go back to normal, opening the floodgate of notifications.

Wind Down

Wind Down Digital Wellbeing Android Pie

The final addition to Digital Wellbeing is Wind Down mode and is pretty self-explanatory. It’s no secret that quite a large number of folks use their phones while in bed.

However, this has been found to not be very helpful and can interrupt your sleep cycles due to the blue light from the display. Wind Down aims to change this by automatically enabling Night Light, Do Not Disturb, and switching the screen to grayscale.

After Wind Down has been set up for the first time, the change in the display will remind you to step away and get some sleep.


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