Search Engine Giant’s New Experiment Focuses on Reducing Screen Time

Google, the renowned search engine has unveiled its three new experimental apps focused on Digital Well-Being. The new apps include Screen Stopwatch app, Activity Bubbles app, and Envelope app. The first app, Screen Stopwatch app offers a live wallpaper on home-screen of a mobile phone or such other devices that showcases a precise count of phone usage in real-time. It means, users can get an idea of ‘how much time they spent on their phones – staring at screens’ and can limit their screen usage.

The second one, Activity Bubbles app creates a bubble for every unlock on the wallpaper of the device. The bubble size will get increase during the unlocked period which means the longer user remains on screen, the bubble gets bigger until the device gets locked again, and as the device gets unlocked the second time, another bubble will be created. This will help the users to understand the time interval they spent on the device between the locks and unlocks.

Lastly, the Envelope app helps the users stay away from the screen by inserting the device inside a paper envelop but, still the one can use basic functions of the device including receiving and making calls, and using the camera to click photographs. To use this app, the users have to take a print of a special PDF file, available in the app itself, at full scale; then cut the paper; wrap the device into it; and seal the envelop with the device inside. At the end, it will look like a paper phone which offers numerical keypad and camera slot for the basic usage. Currently, this feature is available only for Google Pixel 3a phones.

Including Google many other tech firms are increasingly contributing in this area. Several other features have also been added to various apps before the digital well-being experiment. The list includes ‘You’re all caught up’, Take a Break’, and some other alerts notifying the usage time exceeding 5 or 6 hours.

While explaining the features of the apps, Google states, “Simply wait for everyone to join, then flip the switch together to begin your session. If someone in the group unlocks, the session will end, and you’ll be able to see how you did.” The company further added, “Simply think about how you divide your time and choose the apps that are most important to you in each mode. Based on time or place, your phone will automatically adapt – giving you just the right apps at just the right time.

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