To help users control and limit the amount of time they spend on their phones, Google has released a collection of smartphone apps and tools that can track phone usage, control when users get notifications, and help entire groups disconnect from technology. Google this week unveiled a new platform, Digital Wellbeing Experiments, which gives users access to six new apps and tools that have been designed by the company to help them become aware of — and therefore control — their smartphone usage. While six ‘experiments’ are currently available, Google also provides users with tools like information on APIs, idea templates, and open source code to create their own apps on the platform.

Unlock Clock
Unlock Clock is a live wallpaper that displays how many times you’ve unlocked your phone. Every time you look at your home screen, that tally will be on display as a massive number taking up most of the background.

Paper Phone
Paper Phone is exactly what it sounds like — a paper phone. A corresponding app lets users select what information to include on their paper phone which they can then print off and use in place of their actual phone.

Post Box
Post Box lets users schedule when they receive notifications. Once the time arrives, all missed notifications will appear at once.

Desert Island
Desert Island challenges users to only use essential apps. Users are prompted to select only the apps which they can’t live without on a day-to-day basis and are pushed to use only those.

Morph
Morph allows users to categorize their applications as work-related, home-related, or a category of their own making. Based on what time it is and where a user may be, Morph will give users access to only the apps predetermined as necessary.

We Flip
This application lets users simultaneously turn off technology as a group. It’s an opt-in tool and, once a participant unlocks their phone, We Flip deactivates.

All are available now, as are the tools for users to create their own digital well-being experiments.

This article was published via AFP Relaxnews.

Staff writer