Google’s Digital Wellbeing suite of tools is handy, and the company is apparently making it a whole lot easier to get at certain functions. In an update rolling out now, Digital Wellbeing is showing up on the Pixel Launcher with some convenient buttons for pausing an application.
The best gifts for Android users
One of the many ways Digital Wellbeing tries to help you use your phone in a healthy way is limiting the time you spend in certain applications. If you’ve got a social media addiction or just can’t wait to beat the next level in a game, you can set an app timer to ensure you’re not wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Now, Google is giving users the ability to pause an app on-demand instead of waiting for the timer to run out. In a quiet update, Digital Wellbeing is now integrated into the Pixel Launcher in a few locations. For one, every app’s App Shortcut menu now displays a “Pause App” button in the top-left corner. Apps without that menu will also now show the same button when long-pressed.
Another location where this appears is the recent apps menu as Android Police points out. Tapping on the app icon brings up a menu which now also houses a Pause App button alongside split-screen, app info, and pinning options. Regardless of which method you use, the result will be the same pausing of the app and the inability to open it for the remainder of that day.
Image Credit: @D_Slawotsky, Android Police
For the time being, however, it seems like this feature is a bit half-baked. Apparently, it doesn’t show up for all users on the latest Digital Wellbeing and Pixel Launcher updates, and sometimes the functionality breaks entirely. Clearly, this is something Google is still rolling out and it might require further updates to iron out.
Also important to note is that, so far, this only looks like it’s live on Android Q devices. This lines up with a previous appearance of this same functionality which hinted it would be a part of Google’s next big Android update.
This is a great extension of Digital Wellbeing if you ask me, even if it takes a tremendous amount of self-control.
More on Digital Wellbeing:
- Digital Wellbeing preps daily timers, usage tracking for websites [APK Insight]
- Google’s Digital Wellbeing seems to be the culprit of performance issues on Pixel 3
- Android Q will integrate Digital Wellbeing into the Pixel Launcher, pause apps from homescreen