Ahead of Digital Wellbeing launching this fall, Google opened a beta for Pixel and Pixel 2 users with the release of Android 9 Pie. The latest update introduces quick shortcuts to make the company-wide initiative more accessible, thus addressing some initial user feedback.

One early complaint of Digital Wellbeing was how launching the app was rather inconvenient and required scrolling through Settings. Third-party developers quickly crafted solutions with the latest beta adding an option to display a launcher icon for Digital Wellbeing. There is a new toggle in the main Settings menu to “Show in the app list.”

In a similar vein, users can now quickly enable/disable Grayscale from anywhere in Android thanks to a new Quick Settings tile. This shortcut automatically zaps all the color from your screen independent of it automatically enabling at night during a set schedule. Given that Night Light has long had a similar tile, this was an obvious toggle for the times when users need to fully use their devices.

There are some “visual improvements” and polish to the Dashboard, while the app recently added a shortcut to access the Night Light schedule directly from the Wind Down menu.

This update takes Digital Wellbeing a step closer to what Google showed off at I/O 2018. Still missing are options to “Keep screen off” during Wind Down or being able to place your phone flat on the table to automatically enable Do Not Disturb.

Version 0.2.211650599 is widely rolling out now via the Play Store for users enrolled in the beta. The full release notes are below:

  • You can add an icon to your apps list for quick access
  • Edit your Quick Settings to add a Grayscale tile by tapping on the Quick Settings edit icon
  • New link to Night Light schedule on the Wind Down page
  • Visual improvements to the dashboard

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com