Google's Digital Wellbeing adds 'Focus Mode', 'Family Link' and improved Parental Controls

Google
Highlights

Google is updating its suite of tools to add a new feature called "Focus Mode" that allow disabling distracting apps, enhanced parental controls as well as Family Link to be part of the Android OS.

These days we spend a lot of time on our devices and Digital Wellbeing helps us, the new 'Focus Mode' will eliminate our most distracting mobile apps which will enable us to stay on track.

Google introduced more advanced controls at I/O 2019 to help us control our digital health, with Focus mode as a central component in future Android updates.

Digital Wellbeing has not only added new controls for major device users, but Google also announced additional parental controls that allow you to set time limits and more on specific games and applications that your children use too often.

Focus mode allows you to mute specific applications that distract you more or spend more time within. The most evident apps would be such as Twitter and Facebook, where we end up losing most of our time through inane swiping and scrolling.

However, you can keep certain applications "open", such as SMS or the phone. Although you can achieve something similar through the Do Not Disturb mode, this allows you to manage your occupying time.

The improved controls of Family Link allow parents to keep a track of how much screen time their children have used. You can limit the time allocated to certain apps and games, and there is also an option where parents can set "screen time" and there is another feature that allows parents to give "bonus time" in smaller increments to children.

Parents will be able to see the detailed time of the app and even set a daily bedtime that avoids apps from starting unless it is considered essential for a preset period. Parents will definitely fall in love with these improved controls for their own children.

The tech giant also announced its making Family Link part of every Android device, starting with Android Q. Family Link to be accessible from device settings, now parents need not download it as an optional app.

Google said it will be found under, "digital well-being and parental controls" in Android Q devices which will be rolled out later this summer.

Stephanie Cuthbertson, senior director for Android said, "We're spending a lot of time on phones, and people tell us, sometimes they wish they spent more time on other things. We want to help people find balance and digital well-being. And yes, sometimes this means making it easier to put your device away entirely, and focus on the times that really matter."

She said these tools are already helping us to monitor our phone usage, as 90% of the time app timers helped users stick to their goals and there was a drop of 27% nightly usage of phone credit goes to Wind Down. However, the details are not shared about how many users, on the whole, are actually getting benefitted of the digital well-being features.

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