Google Digital Wellbeing App – Find a Balanced Technology
Open Settings and scroll down to see the “Digital Wellbeing” option or just search in Settings and tap on it. Now, once you enter the application, scroll down and activate the option “Show icon in application list”. It will add the app to the app list just like other apps so that you can access it quickly.
1) Know how much time you spend on each app
Before you try to limit your smartphone usage, you must first know your digital habits. You should know how much time you use your smartphone and which apps spend most of your time
Digital Wellbeing app shows you a lot of useful statistics about this such as time spent, times opened, notification count, etc.
On the main screen of the app, you will see the total screen-time, unlock, notification count, and a pie-chart showing how much screen-time you spent on each app.
If you tap on its center, you can see a bar chart of screen-time for each app as well as a screen-bar for the current week each day.
Screentime – The time for which the screen was on the screen i.e. when you are actually looking at the phone. (So if you are downloading the phone or listening to music while the phone is locked, that time is not counted).
Notifications received – If you select the option of Notifications received, you can see – The total number of notifications received and Notifications count of each app.
Times-opened – If you choose the Times-Open option in the top, you can see:
- How many times have you unlocked your phone in a day?
- How many times have you opened each app?
- All these statistics are shown for the current day, but if you want to see the details of other days, you can navigate by tapping on the bar graph or arrow keys.
2) Know which app is wasting your time?
Today it has become your habit, you keep wasting your phone and hours on it. Notifications are the primary obstacle for you.
For example, you get information from the Facebook app and open the app to check it, and you start scrolling the feed! You just wasted an hour on Facebook.
So first we have to find out which apps are hindering you often.
To see which apps are sending more notifications:
In the Digital wellbeing app, go to manage notifications Manage under Reduce interruptions.
Here, choose the Most recent option instead of the most frequent option.
Now you can see the list of apps and the average notifications per day that they send to each of them.
As you can see in the screenshot above, WhatsApp for me is the most intrusive app, sending an average of 417 notifications/day.
3) Restrict yourself and disconnect
By now, you have already figured out which apps you spend most of your time on and which apps often interrupt you, so you have time to act on them.
There are some cool tools inside the digital wellbeing app, which allows you to restrict the use of the app and avoid interruptions.
# Turn-off notifications for the most interrupting app (s)
As you already know which apps are sending more notifications, you can disable notifications completely for the app.
To reduce interruptions as before, go to the notification option and select the most frequent option at the top. You can see the list of sorted apps in descending order. Who send notifications You can toggle the notification count and turn-off notifications to the right.
If you do not want to completely stop notifications for an app, then you have reduced it by changing the notification preferences for that app.
For example, in my case, I do not want to completely turn off notifications for WhatsApp, so I muted all WhatsApp groups so that I get fewer notifications.
# App Timer
With the app timer, you can set a specific time for the app, such as you can do 1hr for WhatsApp which means that you cannot use WhatsApp for more than 1hr in a day.
After setting the app timer, it will track the time you ever use WhatsApp. And 1 minute before the total time (59 minutes here), you will get a reminder that you have 1 minute left to meet your quota.
And after 1hr, you will see a notification that you have met your set quota on WhatsApp. The app icon will be removed, so you cannot open WhatsApp again until the next day.
To set the app timer for the app:
Open the digital wellbeing application and go to the dashboard by tapping on the pie chart.
You will see the app list here. Tap on the hourglass icon to the right of the app you want to set a timer.
Select the time you want to scroll through hours and minutes. You can set a maximum of 23hrs 55mins (but you can set it as per your convenience. You have set a timer for the app.
# Wind Down
This digital wellbeing app is a great feature. With Wind Down, you can set certain settings to automatically schedule during your sleep schedule so that you can sleep comfortably, distract-free.
Wind down will automatically set the night light, which marks the screen so that it is easy on your eyes. It will also enable do-not-disturb mode so that you are not disturbed by unnecessary notifications while trying to sleep. And as a reminder to sleep, it will also change your phone to black and white mode.
All you have to do is set the beginning of your regular bedtime and wake up time in the morning, such as 10:00 PM – 5:00 AM. And will wind down automatically during this time.
And yes, if you do not want to automatically turn on DND or other settings, you can disable it in the wind-down settings.
# IMPORTANT: Control yourself
No matter how powerful and useful any anti-smartphone-addiction app is, it would be absolutely useless if you do not have self-control.
For example, if you set the app timer and you have met your quota, you will disable the timer due to a lack of self-control.
So any device becomes useless if you cannot control yourself for excessive use of smartphones.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Well-Being Apps
Can I install Google’s Digital Wellbeing app on any phone? Does my phone support this?
The Digital Wellbeing app only supports Android phones running Android 9.0 Pie or higher. If you run an older Android version like Android 8.0 Oreo or lower, you can try an alternative app like ActionDash.
Does the Digital Wellbeing App app work on iOS / iPhone?
No, the app is exclusively available for Android. iOS has its own app called Screen Time to monitor its usage. What are good alternative apps for the Google Digital Wellbeing app? Some good options for tracking the usage of your smartphone are ActionDash, Digitox, and Stayfree.