Do you have a smartphone addiction? Well, there may be a solution to this. Google is in the process of developing controls designed to reduce the time you spend on your phone and on YouTube. The tools will be launched in Android P. They will include an app timer and also a wind down feature. The controls will also have a dashboard that will give you a detailed breakdown of the total amount of time you have been using your phone. The dashboard will show which apps take most of your time too.
Google is also introducing reminders on YouTube that will tell you to stop video streaming. The reminders started rolling out early this week. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that the new controls are part of the budigital wellbeing” initiative. The initiative, according to Google, will help consumers with their tech addiction. Pichai said that a lot of people always have the urge to reply to every message right way on their phone. People also want to stay updated with all the news out there. As such, they are spending a lot of time on their devices.
According to Google, the new control features will help people disconnect. The app timer feature, in particular, is very interesting. First, Android P will give you a nice pie chart that will show how you use apps. In case you find that there are two or three apps that tend to take a lot of your time, you can simply add a cap on the total amount of time you can spend on them each day.
The new Android P OS will also have a revamped “Do Not Disturb” mode. To activate this mode, all you have to do is turn your phone down. However, starred contacts will always be able to reach you in case of an emergency. If your phone keeps you up for long hours at night, the new wind down feature could help you out. To use the feature, select a time when the phone goes to “Do Not disturb” mode. Once the time comes, the screen will change to grayscale.
Last year, Google also introduced a new feature called Family Link that allows parents to control how their children use Android devices. The move was in recognition of the growing tech addiction problem and it seems that the search engine giant is rolling out the same controls even for adults. The fear has always been that, based on current trends, it’s very possible that interactions on social media could overtake real life interaction with people.
Apple has also been asked to add control features that would limit iPhone use. A coalition dubbed the Center for Humane Technology has been formed by former Apple, Google and Facebook employees in a bid to raise awareness on the growing problem of technology addiction. It looks like the major tech companies are starting to take note of these latest developments from Google.