If you are familiar with Google’s Digital Wellbeing which came out last year and is installed on a lot of Android devices, you’ll know that it supposedly helps us spend less time on our phones. Google has come out with three new “experimental” Digital Wellbeing apps to continue to assist us in spending less time on our phones. Envelope, Activity Bubbles, and Screen Stopwatch are the latest applications from Google.
Envelope is an app that temporarily transforms your phone into a simpler, calmer device, helping you take a break away from your digital world.
Once you’ve printed and folded Google’s special pdf into an envelope it will turn your Google Pixel 3a into a very basic device that can only make and receive calls helping you focus on what’s in front of you.
Printed buttons which subtly light up allow you to dial and take photographs, creating a calm but magical “Envelope User Interface”.
Amazingly, touch screens still work through a layer of paper (you can try it right now!) because they sense the capacitance of your finger which is only slightly affected by the paper. Existing functions such as fingerprint unlocking still function and the user interface of the app is optimized for OLED displays, which means it won’t drain your battery if it’s on all day long.
Activity Bubbles help you discover what your phone usage looks like each day in a fun format. Each time you unlock your phone, the app creates a new bubble. The longer you stay on your phone the bigger the bubble grows. At the end of the day, you will have a number of bubbles of differing sizes indicating the number of times you unlocked your device as well as how long you spent on your device during each unlock.
Screen Stopwatch can also be set up as a wallpaper and tells you how long you spend on your phone each day. Each time you unlock your phone, the stopwatch continues to count. At the end of the day, you’ll have a running total telling you how long you spent on your phone for that day.
Currently, these three new applications from Google can be downloaded right now but the Envelope application is only for the Pixel 3a. If you want to try them out, head over to the Google Play Store and snag the Envelope, Activity Bubbles, and Screen Stopwatch applications.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021.