Digital Wellbeing is probably the most useful tool that you can use if you want to balance your smartphone usage with your “real life”. It already has several features that you can use but it doesn’t hurt to always have more. Some of the Experiments by Google features Digital Wellbeing apps and now there are three more that you can play around with. Two of them, Activity Bubbles and Screen Stopwatch, are technically Digital Wellbeing tools while the other one, Envelope, isn’t part of Digital Wellbeing but can help also with reducing stimulation from your phone.
Envelope is a pretty unique but challenging app as you have to print out a PDF and fold it into an envelope. You put your phone inside and all you will be able to do is make and receive phone calls. Another envelope will only let you take photos and videos but you will only be able to see them once you “break” the envelope. However for now, it’s only available for the Pixel 3a and there is no indication yet they will be making it available for other devices.
Activity Bubbles gives you a wallpaper that will add a bubble every time you unlock your phone. The bubbles will even get bigger the longer your phone is unlocked. It’s actually a “cute” and more visual way of telling you how long you’re spending on unlocking and using your phone. It would actually be better if you can edit and customize the appearance of the bubbles but for now, that’s just what you get.
The Screen Stopwatch app meanwhile keeps track of how much time you spend on your phone but without a more stressful live countdown. It will show you the total hours, minutes, and seconds. Every time you unlock your phone, the stopwatch will start counting. It’s not really stress-free as the ongoing clock may still cause slight anxiety, but that’s the idea behind these Digital Wellbeing tools. You have to see how much time you’re on your phone so you will hopefully curb your habits.
All three apps are available on the Google Play Store but remember, they are experimental apps. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvements if they make it to the stable version.