When Google launched the Pixel 3, one of its key features, which eventually spread to other Pixels and Android phones, was Digital Wellbeing. The feature was intended to help users become aware of their smartphone use and detach when necessary. It turned out that it partly accomplished the latter by reducing Pixel phones’ battery life, unintentionally, of course. Google has finally spoken up and refutes users’ observations but will roll out some changes to improve the Pixel’s battery life in some other way.
It’s unclear by now who really “discovered” the fix but users all over the Internet are testifying that they gained hours of battery life just by disabling Digital Wellbeing. The commonly accepted theory is that the app may have a bug that is draining the battery more than it should while it monitors the phone’s use and resources.
Google promised to investigate the matter and now says there are no performance issues with the Digital Wellbeing app. That said, it did see some unrelated problems that could be affecting the Pixel’s performance. Those will be rolling out soon, probably in the next monthly update.
That statement, however, doesn’t seem to be flying with users. Many insist that simply turning off Digital Wellbeing, without changing anything else, has resulted in substantial improvement in battery life and even in performance. They find it impossible to believe the app isn’t to blame and some have even asked why it’s not possible to uninstall it.
Then again, Google knows its proprietary code better than users and those issues it noted might not be in Digital Wellbeing but could be causing it to act awry anyway. We’ll have to wait for those changes to land to find out if that’s really the case.