Digital Wellbeing prepares to add a work profile scheduler to pause apps automatically
Digital Wellbeing was first unveiled at Google I/O 2018 with a handful of tools to help users reduce their smartphone usage, and the company has steadily improved upon the app in the last 2 years by introducing loads of new features that aid in digital detox. In the latest update to version 1.0.327635162, Google is preparing to introduce a work profile scheduler that would automatically pause apps after your work hours.
One of the more frequent complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic induced Work From Home (WFH) habits is the fact that work hours have now blended into personal life. Employees that are working from home now complain about their inability to leave work behind once their day wraps up. As the home becomes the office, availability and work responsibilities have started spilling over heavily into hours that were usually reserved for personal life.
Google is now hoping to tackle some of these problems with a Work Profile Scheduler, as is spotted in the strings within the latest version of Digital Wellbeing.
<string name="work_scheduler">Work profile schedule</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_info">Disconnect from work by scheduling work apps to turn on and off automatically</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_notification_channel_name">Work profile schedule</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_set_schedule">Set a schedule</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_subtext_no_schedule">Off</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_subtext_with_schedule_off">Off / Turns on at %1$s on %2$s</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_subtext_with_schedule_off_on_within_24h">Off / Turns on at %s</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_subtext_with_schedule_on">On / Turns off at %1$s on %2$s</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_subtext_with_schedule_on_off_within_24h">On / Turns off at %s</string>\n<string name="work_scheduler_title">Work profile schedule</string>\n<string name="work_session_postpone_turning_off">Wait until %s</string>
The strings indicate that the app will soon allow users to “turn on and off” apps and help them disconnect from work. The strings do not exactly clear up what turning on and off an app would entail. But if OnePlus’ Work-Life Balance feature is any inspiration for this feature within Digital Wellbeing, then this could just be the notifications of the app being paused and not being displayed to the user for the duration. OnePlus’ Work-Life Balance feature actually allows setting up both Work and Life profiles (and you can also choose to avoid notifications from “Life” apps from being displayed during Work hours), while Digital Wellbeing is apparently concentrating on only one aspect so far. Google could choose to extend the feature to both ends of the spectrum in the future.