Knowing that a decent number of customers these days are concerned about screen addiction, Google today announced Digital Wellbeing Experiments. Google has already released a few digital wellbeing products of its own, namely Wind Down for Android and the Take a Break reminder that’s present on YouTube. Digital Wellbeing Experiments expands on what Google has already put in place by being “a platform to encourage designers and developers to build digital wellbeing into their products.”
Google says that anyone is able to access the platform and share their ideas or tools to implement features that put more focus on finding balance with technology. To get things rolling, Google is rolling out six experimental apps of its own.
These can be relatively simple experiments like Unlock Clock, a live wallpaper that keeps track of how many times you unlock your phone in a day. Others, like We Flip, are a little more complex.
We Flip allows users in a group to switch off from technology together using Google’s Nearby API. Once everyone has the app installed, they can all join a We Flip session together. After everyone has joined, the app will prompt everyone to put their phones away and enjoy some quality time with one another. The session lasts until someone unlocks their phone, which ends the session for everyone.
Then we have Morph, which allows you to divide up your day and only surface apps you’ll need at certain times. Post Box, on the other hand, allows you to hold notifications until a scheduled time so you can keep focus. Desert Island is one of the more interesting apps of the bunch, as that one allows you to designate your essential apps and challenges you to spend a day using only those.
By far the strangest app of the bunch is Paper Phone, which was quietly announced by Google earlier this month. Paper Phone essentially takes Desert Island to the next level, allowing you to pick important apps and tasks and print them out on a sheet of paper. That sheet of paper can hold schedules, directions, important contacts, and more, giving you the information you need to make it through a day without actually having to use your phone.
You can check out Google’s Digital Wellbeing Experiments or submit your own by heading over to the Experiments with Google website. It’s there you’ll find a listing of available apps, along with an FAQ and resources to start making your own. At the very least, it might be a good idea to download a few of the apps yourself to see if they help keep you focused during the day.