Sunday, May 29, 2022

Android Pie Digital Wellbeing: How to set it up, and break bad habits

While Android 9 Pie may have officially launched, it’s missing one of its biggest features: Digital Wellbeing. It’s a set of tools designed to help you manage your screen time, and Google says it will launch on Pixel phones this fall, followed by Android One and other worthy devices coming later this year. But if you have a Pixel phone you can check it out right now. Here’s how to sign up, get started, and master Google’s new Digital Wellbeing tools:

Google Digital Wellbeing: Sign up for the beta

There are two requirements for joining the Digital Wellbeing beta:

  • A Pixel phone
  • Android 9 Pie

If you have both of those things (and if you don’t, you can buy a Pixel phone here and learn how to get Android 9 Pie using our guide), then all you need to do us sign up using Google’s Android Digital Wellbeing Beta site. You don’t need a Google account to join the beta, but the email address you enter must match the email address you use to buy apps from Google Play on your phone.

digital wellbeing setupIDG

After you press submit, you’ll get an email from Google with instructions on how to install Digital Wellbeing on your phone. It may take up to 24 hours to receive it, so if you don’t immediately get a message, don’t worry.

Once you get your email, it’s just a matter of following the links. Tap the Access the beta now button and then the Download the Digital Wellbeing (Beta) app on Google Play link on the next screen. That’ll take you to a hidden listing on the Play Store where you can download the update.

Google Digital Wellbeing: The basics

digital wellbeing dashboard1IDG

Once the Digital Wellbeing is installed, you’re ready to start using it. However, you won’t find it in the app drawer or by searching your phone. That’s because it’s not an app, it’s a setting.

To find it, head to the Settings app and scroll down to Digital Wellbeing (it’s sandwiched between Accessibility and Google). Tap it and you’ll be taken to the main screen where you can see a pie chart representation of how much time you’ve used you phone today as well as how many times you’ve unlocked your phone and the number of notifications you’ve received. Tapping an any of the individual apps will take young a separate screen where you can see how long you’ve spent using it on a daily or hourly basis.

Below the chart there are ways to disconnect and reduce interruptions, with each tab leading to a separate feature for reducing your screen time. Let’s take a look at each of them.


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