Digital Wellbeing features rolling out for some Google Home users
Digital Wellbeing is one of the few smartphone trends of 2018 that we can all agree with. Companies like Google and Apple realized that smartphone addiction is a real thing and they have a duty to provide users with the tools they need to better manage their time. While some might argue that users should take personal responsibility and not rely on a smartphone tool to curb their smartphone addiction, we can’t see any downside to Google offering Digital Wellbeing as an option. Digital Wellbeing features were first introduced in Android 9 Pie and they let you monitor your app usage, set app timers, wind down your usage at night, flip to silence your phone, and more. But as it turns out, Google wants to expand Digital Wellbeing tools to their smart speaker products like the Google Home family as well.
Reddit user /u/alexanderbumpertramp posted that the new Digital Wellbeing option is now available in the Google Home app. Google announced that this feature would arrive with the Google Home Hub and their other smart speakers which includes the Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max. Like always, this is a staged rollout as none of the XDA staff has the feature in our apps. According to the Reddit user who posted about the new option, there are currently two features available: filters and downtime. Filters let you add an age restriction and prevent playing media for non-registered users while downtime blocks all voice commands during a specified time. Downtime is kind of like automatic Do Not Disturb mode on Android devices.
There’s no telling when the new feature will be rolled out for all users. It’s possible it may be regionally restricted like many Google Home features tend to be. Regardless, I think there will be plenty of users who are happy to see new tools to manage how they or their families use their smart speakers. If you want the feature, you’ll probably need to have the latest version of the Google Home app installed which you can download from the Google Play Store listing below.