ONE OF the big additions to Android 9.0 Pie is ‘Digital Wellbeing', a means to stop people staring into their phones all day.
Google announced the feature at Google I/O back in the spring, but now it seems that the company is also working on adding it to Google Assistant, and its embodiment on the physical plane, Google Home.
According to a report in 9to5Google, a teardown of the latest Google app APK (version 8.20, since you didn't ask) shows a redesign of settings for Google Assistant.
In the 'Home' tab of the redesigned app, the previous 'Family Tools' has been replaced by 'Digital Wellbeing'. It includes 'filters' where 'Family Mode' once was.
It's all part of a drive by Google to get us to spend a bit less time fiddling with our tech and more time fiddling with each other (that's what she said).
It appears that it will be able to set limits on how much time you spend interacting with Assistant, as well as blocking it after a certain time, to allow you to wind down to beddy-bobos.
That said, given that one of the main uses of Google Home is turning lights on and off, that could cause more problems than it solves.
At present, none of these features has been activated, but given that they're in the current edition, albeit hidden under the hood, there's a good chance that this will be a server-side switch on. Possibly on 9 October when Google will be announcing a whole bunch of hardware, but usually slips in a feature or two with it.
In Android 9.0 Pie, the features are much the same - with an option to limit the time spent on certain apps, and grey out the entire phone in those precious melatonin firing hours running up to bedtime.
It's not just Google who are doing the whole ‘digital responsibility' thing. Apple's upcoming iOS 12 release will include Apple Screen Time, which does much the same thing.
Remember kids - a third of notifications on your phone will depress you. That's just science. μ
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