Digital Wellbeing is a company-wide initiative that Google announced at I/O 2018. So far, it has launched in YouTube and Calendar, with a launch on Android set for this fall. Google is now preparing to bring Digital Wellbeing to Google Assistant and Home smart devices.
Our APK Insight of Google app 8.20 today revealed an option for Digital Wellbeing within Google Assistant. Specifically, we spotted it in a redesign to Assistant settings that reorganizes the various sections into four tabs.
The last section is called “Home” and between version 8.18 last month and 8.20 today Google made notable tweaks. “Family Tools” has been renamed to “Digital Wellbeing” with a new “Filters” feature occupying the previous “Family mode.”
“Family mode” or “Filters” could limit what content kids can search and voice games they can access. Meanwhile, “Downtime” is reminiscent of “Wind Down” on Android and could block certain users — possibly recognized via Voice Match — from using Home at night or other set hours.
Tapping the Family Tools menu currently attempts to open the Google Home app, but of course those features have yet to be added into the companion client.
Given Assistant’s wide usage, it’s not surprising that it is gaining Digital Wellbeing tools, especially aimed at kids. Google is aiming to make Home a kid-friendly device and is also preparing Assistant for Households.
In Google Calendar, Digital Wellbeing can automatically enable do-not-disturb for invitations and events, as well as in Google Voice for G Suite customers. YouTube just launched a stats section that notes how many videos you are watching daily, weekly, and during other time intervals. Meanwhile, the Digital Wellbeing features on Android are most similar to what Assistant could gain. Both are aimed at managing usage and making sure overuse is not an issue.
Dylan contributed to this article