There’s no denying the fact that smartphone usage has significantly grown over the years. So much so that people are often found engrossed with their smartphones to an extent where they are completely oblivious of their surroundings. To deal with the repercussions that one might come across with this lifestyle, smartphone manufacturers are adding new solutions to allow users to manage their digital lifestyle in a better way. In the same vein, Google, which already has a solution (Digital Wellbeing) to help users strike the right balance with technology, is now introducing Digital Wellbeing Experiments. Let’s dive in to learn more.
As mentioned above, with Digital Wellbeing, Google offered its users a way to determine their phone usage habits and act upon it to find the right balance with technology. To extend this further to its community and help more people find a better balance with technology, it is now introducing Digital Wellbeing Experiments. In a nutshell, Digital Wellbeing Experiments is a platform to encourage more designers and developers to integrate digital wellbeing into their products.
To being with, the platform has five Digital Wellbeing experimental apps, each centered around a different behavior to help users find the right balance and stay focused. These include –
1. Unlock Clock – which helps users re-consider their phone usage by counting and displaying the number of times they unlock their device in a day. It is available in the form of live wallpaper, and using it is as simple as downloading the wallpaper from the Play Store and setting it as a live wallpaper.
2. Post Box – which helps users minimize distractions by holding (disabling) the notifications until a specified time. Users can select this time and also choose how often they’d like to receive notifications. Once the notifications arrive, they are organized in a manner that is easy to go through.
3. We Flip – which enables users to switch off from technology as a group and spend quality time together. To use it, users are required to wait until everyone in the group joins, after which, they can flip the switch to start the session. Once someone in the group unlocks, the session gets terminated, and users get to see how they did.
4. Desert Island – which helps users find focus by challenging them to go without their phone for a day. To makes sure users don’t miss out on the important tasks, the app allows them to select the essential apps for these tasks.
5. Morph – which allows users to stay focussed by allowing them to divide their time and choose the most essential apps. Once done, the phone automatically adapts and gives users the right app at that time based on time or place.
Besides the five essential experimental apps mentioned above, another special experiment on the platform is the Paper Phone. Paper Phone allows users to select the most important stuff from their phone, like favorite contacts, maps, meetings, etc and print them directly on to a sheet of paper. That way, they do not need to carry their phones and can still get the work done in a more focussed manner.
Furthermore, to make sure Digital Wellbeing is at the core of most apps and services, Google has open-sourced the code and created guides to make it easy for designers and developers to integrate Digital Wellbeing on their apps and services.