The headline itself is a conundrum. How can a megalith tech company aspire to make its gadgets and products less addictive for its consumers? Well, the proof is in the pudding. Smartphones are making consumers unhappy.
In fact, during its annual developer conference last week, Google revealed startling numbers. Over 70% of its users are in dire need of assistance to strike a balance between their digital lives and their ACTUAL lives. What’s still a puzzle is how this new strategy will fit in with all the smartphone manufacturers around the world.
After all, isn’t it in their interest to make phones as addictive and as engaging as possible?
Yet, Google seems not to conform to such a belief. In fact, during their I/O, they introduce a new initiative called Digital Wellbeing; a fresh outlook that will ultimately be introduced in both past and future Google products.
For example, the new and upcoming Android P operating system is poised to have three essential features to help users break free from the proverbial chains of screen addiction. Here’s what to expect.
With the upcoming feature Shush, Android P will have the ability to automatically silence one’s notifications and calls once they flip the phone over, with the screen on the down side. This means that one doesn’t have to manually push a button to silence a call, or dig through settings menus just to do so. Just put the phone down and that’s it.
What’s intriguing about Shush is that it’s modeled after a gesture that a majority of people do so often. That is, place their phones with the screen down when they are attending to something or someone. Especially during family dinners or lunches.
Even those awesome notifications on the latest BluRay software releases from Burn World won’t be tempting enough to bypass this new digital wellbeing feature!
Here’s a common case scenario that everyone experiences. Just before hitting the sheets and slumbering to dream land, Jake gets a notification on his phone. Hmmm, he decides to have a look. The notification suddenly peaks his interest, and before he knows it, it’s 1 am and he still hasn’t slept! He will certainly be sleep-deprived tomorrow!
This common ‘syndrome’ is something Google has noticed and decided to respond to accordingly. With Digital Wellbeing, the second feature to be introduced will be Wind Down mode.
When one activates Wind Down before they go to bed, Android P will automatically shift their highly interactive screen into a somewhat mundane gray-scale palette. Essentially, the device will be time warped to look like a Mac back from 1985.
Dashboard Data View
A majority of studies have confirmed that most people check their phones at least 100 times a day! Whoa, talk about taking addiction to a whole other level! Now, Android P will come with a personalized data visualization feature that will give one a breakdown on how many times they checked their phone throughout the day, the number of push notifications that they received, as well as what they did within various apps. Such metrics will be meant to help the user monitor and self-regulate their phone reliance as well as usage.
With this 3 new features, it’s crystal clear that Digital Wellbeing is meant to minimize stress-induced issues relating to smartphone usage.