Google Clock app adds a handwashing timer to Wear OS smartwatches
One of the basic sanitation practices that have received a lot of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic is handwashing. Properly washing your hands can prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering your body, especially because people tend to touch their faces and other dirty objects a bunch. Now, in order to get users to properly and regularly wash their hands, Google is rolling out an update to the Google Clock app for Wear OS. This update adds a “Hand Wash Timer” to the app list.
People tend to think of handwashing as an inconvenience or something you do only if your hands are visibly dirty. To be honest, we should all be washing our hands much more often, pandemic or not. The recent update for the Google Clock app on Wear OS is helping in this mission. You’ll see a new “Hand-Wash Timer” shortcut in the app drawer after the update.
Tapping the shortcut will bring up the new handwashing timer. There is a 3-second countdown before the full 40-second timer begins. The timer is also represented by a progress ring around the outside of the display. You can tap the (X) button at any time to stop the timer. Once you finish washing your hands, the app states it will remind you again in 3 hours. The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds, so 40 seconds is even better. Here are the CDC’s handwashing instructions:
This may be a useful feature for those of us who need a little extra nudge to wash our hands properly more often. You still need to manually start the timer, which does mean touching your watch, so be sure to wash your hands right after! Many smartwatches have an IP rating that can withstand water, though, so don’t be afraid to give the watch (and your phone) a little wash from time to time.