Google isn’t slowing down its Digital Wellbeing efforts. A little more than a year after its release, the app has matured with new features, parental control integration, Chrome browsing monitoring, and has become mandatory for all Android devices going forward. That isn’t stopping Google from testing new angles that could help you curb your screen time and better manage your phone usage. To that end, the Google Creative Lab has released five new experimental well being apps.
The five new apps don’t seem to require Digital Wellbeing to be present on your device. They’re available for me on all kinds of phones and tablets from the Pixel to OnePlus, Nokia, and Huawei. However, you need to be running Android 8.0 Oreo for most of them though We Flip is also available for 7.0 devices too.
Unlock Clock is a live wallpaper that counts the number of times you’ve unlocked your device in a day. When installed, you’ll find it in the Google Wallpapers app. The large counter starts at 0 and goes up each time you unlock your phone. It’s a simple approach that can help you see how often you check your device and how much you rely on it.
We Flip is a social experiment for group gatherings. I’ve heard of people passing around a basket and collecting all phones, or stacking them on top of each other on a table, and the first person who picks up their device “loses.” This follows the same idea, but in app form. All phones need to have the app, which uses the nearby permission to detect them. When everyone’s joined, you can flip your devices to start the session. It ends when the first person flips to check their phone.
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