The term "digital well-being" continues to gain traction across North America. This might have something to do with people using smartphones more and more — some to an almost unhealthy extent. With this becoming borderline epidemic, giant tech companies such as Google and Apple are including features in their respective smartphones to better their consumers' digital well-being.
As reported by Men's Health, each tech company has included new features to try and get consumers to reduce smartphone usage. It's considered to be a massive step in tech companies addressing the overuse of smartphones. These features are included in the most recent update of each company's operating systems and are available for download now.
When it comes to Google, the new Android P dashboard tracks several different statistics for consumers to look through. This includes phone usage, time spent on individual apps, the number of notifications you receive, and the number of times you unlock your phone. There's also a timer that allows you to limit time spent on certain apps, and Wind Down grey scales your screen to push you to not use your phone. Your smartphone will even go on silent when it's turned over.
As for Apple, they've tweaked their existing "Do Not Disturb" feature to make it better. It will now block notifications from most or all contacts, and also dims the display and mutes the notification for certain locations and time periods. This can be controlled to the consumer's liking based on their needs and lifestyle. Their new Screen Time feature also gives consumers a report on their activity for their iPhone and how much they use it.
Granted, it's not the first time either company has attempted to address the issue of digital well-being. Each company has apps that are designed specifically to curb consumers' smartphone use. Google has apps like THRIVE and Space, while Apple has an app of their own called Moment. There's also an iPhone feature called Night Shift that can be utilized now.
While each tech giant has made great strides to curb their consumers' use of smartphones, it's unknown whether it will actually work. It's clear that these features will give consumers an idea of their usage patterns. What consumers choose to do with that information is ultimately their decision to make.