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Google has launched three new apps to help people monitor and reduce their smartphone use.
This is part of Google’s Digital Wellbeing Experiments—an open platform for designers and developers to submit ideas that can help smartphone users minimize their screen time.
According to the company, technology has become so integrated into people’s lives that it sometimes diverts their attention from other important things. The company hopes the tools they develop will help people be mindful of their digital wellbeing.
The three new apps are Activity Bubbles, Screen Stopwatch, and Envelope.
Both Activity Bubbles and Screen Stopwatch let users track daily screen time. The former makes a bubble appear on the home screen background each time the phone is unlocked. The bubble grows larger the longer users spend time on their device. The latter, on the other hand, works like a stopwatch that counts hours, minutes, and seconds every time the phone is unlocked. It can be set as a wallpaper so users can see how much time they spend on their phone.
Envelope is an app that comes with printable cutouts. Users can assemble the cutouts into an envelope that they can seal their phone in. Once the phone is inside, some functions and features, like surfing the net, get blocked.
Google encourages people to submit their contributions to the Digital Wellbeing Experiments platform. The company welcomes projects that are unique, innovative, visually appealing, and open for collaboration. Submissions will be reviewed before they are featured on the site.