Google wants its users to find a better balance with technology - gHacks Tech News

ADVERTISEMENT

Google wants its users to find a better balance with technology

Do you find it difficult to keep your hands and eyes off of your electronic devices? Google launched a set of digital wellbeing experiments designed to assist Android users when it comes to their use of electronic devices.

The three new experiments, Screen Stopwatch, Activity Bubbles, and Envelope, help users better understand their phone usage, the time they spend on their phone, and help transform the phone into a simpler device that has limited uses.

The first two applications can be installed on Android devices. Screen Stopwatch is a basic counter that counts the seconds, minutes, and hours that the phone has been in use. To hammer the fact home, it displays the count directly on the device so that it cannot be missed.

Activity Bubbles follows a similar path but displays usage in a different way. Instead of displaying usage time, it displays bubbles. One bubble for every unlock to be precise. The active bubble gets bigger the longer the phone is used without it being locked.

via https://experiments.withgoogle.com/envelope

Envelope, finally, may sound like an early April 1st joke. The application, available only for Google Pixel 3a devices currently, provides print templates to create phone envelopes. The phone is placed inside and functionality is limited significantly because of that. Different envelopes are available, e.g. one for calling and checking the time, another for recording video or taking photos.

Nothing is preventing the owner of the device from opening the envelope and getting the phone out; a solution with a timed lock would probably better in this case but way more expensive.

Google has published a video that demonstrate the functionality.

The Digital Wellbeing Experiments website lists other experiments that Android users can subscribe to. There is Paper Phone, which creates a paper version of a phone to carry around, or Desert Island which limits use to a  certain number of essential applications.

Closing Words

The use of electronic devices is on the rise and it is clear that it impacts the quality of life for some. Whether these applications may be helpful remains to be seen as they require that users show initiative and install these applications on their devices to get started.

Now You: What is your take on Google's initiative?

Summary
Google wants its users to find a better balance with technology
Article Name
Google wants its users to find a better balance with technology
Description
Do you find it difficult to keep your hands and eyes off of your electronic devices? Google launched a set of digital wellbeing experiments designed to assist Android users when it comes to their use of electronic devices.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo
Advertisement

Previous Post: «
Next Post: »

Comments

  1. Yuliya said on January 22, 2020 at 11:16 am
    Reply

    >Do you find it difficult to keep your hands and eyes off of your electronic devices
    No. This digital wellbeing crap is the stupidest thing Google has ever compe up with. On SGS10 running Android 10 you can’t even disable its phone usage access via Settings anymore. The setting does not affect it at all. You have to use ADB shell commands from a PC to get rid of this junk.

  2. Ryan said on January 22, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    Reply

    Maybe I’m just conspiratorial, but all of these wellbeing experiments seem like Google pretending to care about users as a smokescreen for all their privacy invasiveness. Like “Oh we can’t be that bad, if we were making money off people using their phones, why would we have a bunch of projects to help people use their phone less?” Which is a silly statement, I admit, but it would absolutely work on the average person.

    1. Tom Hawack said on January 22, 2020 at 4:31 pm
      Reply

      @Ryan, I think your point is valuable and the way you deploy it, free of certitudes, in an open-minded way, most welcomed.

      Maybe a path to solve the equation here is to consider/remember that no one, nothing on Earth is totally bad or totally good. Accordingly a company as a moral person may very well combine what we may consider as a bad scheme with incursions in a positive area; especially if what we consider as bad is not considered as bad by those we point. There’s an explanation to everything and most of the time most of us as well as most companies follow a logic pertinent to the track they’re on. Would I be less honest if i were smarter, or less peaceful if stronger? All this is complex and cannot be solved by demagogy.

    2. ULBoom said on January 22, 2020 at 11:47 pm
      Reply

      Because Apple did this long ago? I doubt many Applers paid much attention either.

    3. thebrowser said on January 23, 2020 at 7:13 am
      Reply

      I don’t think this is conspiratorial at all. It makes sense: Google invites you to “go play outside” while it continues to watch your every move, so that it car further enhance their targeted advertisement. After all, if your hobby is cycling you may need a new bike, or whatever.

      Not to say this is exactly what’s happening. In fact I’m glad that such as big corporation is pushing for a less addictive behavior, people who lived with their face glued to a screen can be really toxic from my experience.

  3. seeprime said on January 22, 2020 at 5:18 pm
    Reply

    Google’s social justice actions are completely unnecessary and terribly annoying. Wanting us to follow it’s employees ideas on how we use our devices is absurd. Google dad, I can take care of myself. Keep this up and iPhone sales will climb, while Android eventually slides into the dustbin of history. Should open source Linux phones become fully usable, they’ll offer a better option than either iOS or Android.

    1. ULBoom said on January 22, 2020 at 11:44 pm
      Reply

      PinePhone is close.

  4. Ivan said on January 22, 2020 at 11:31 pm
    Reply

    Laughable that none of these are compatible with a Samsung S6.

  5. ULBoom said on January 22, 2020 at 11:42 pm
    Reply

    What is your take on Google’s initiative?

    Amazing how much effort they must have put into these First Time Ever suggestions. Lame even for Google.

    I knew someone who had a hard time resisting using their credit cards and received advice to freeze their credit by filling a container with water, submerging the cards and placing the bowl in the freezer.

    Silly, but it worked, at least for a while. Freeze your phone? “Never! Gotta go, notification, my favorite Influencer bought a spork!”

  6. Googlesoft Spyware Update said on January 23, 2020 at 4:22 am
    Reply

    >Do you find it difficult to keep your hands and eyes off of your electronic devices

    I find it difficult to keep Google out of my electronic devices.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.