At 10/9, Google announced Downtime and Filters for the Google Home Hub. These Digital Wellbeing features will be coming to all Smart Displays and Assistant speakers, as Google’s initiative to manage device usage is integrating with Assistant on phones.
With Downtime, users will be able to block device usage during certain hours of the day, like at night or during family time. When this schedule is initiated, users cannot interact with a Smart Display or speaker except for critical tasks like alarms. It comes as kids are becoming increasingly proficient at using smart speakers, while the screen on a Smart Display essentially turns it into a familiar tablet.
Using Filters, parents can provide a family friendly experience when kids are using Assistant devices. This includes blocking explicit music, turning on YouTube Restricted Mode, and whether to allow Assistant answers.
Both of these Digital Wellbeing features are coming soon and will be controllable in the Google Home app.
Meanwhile, Digital Wellbeing on phones is getting Google Assistant integration that will allow users to verbally turn on the feature. For example, saying “Set wind down for 10pm” will work exactly as when users manually go into settings to enable a grayscale screen.
Additionally, commands like “How much time have I spent on my phone today” will quickly inform users of their usage details. Google also showed off “Flip to shhh” where you can lay your phone’s screen flat on a surface to automatically silence notifications and other sounds.
These feature will be available on the Pixel 3 and other new phones running Android 9 Pie.
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