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With ‘Digital Wellbeing’ on your Android phone, you are less likely to be distracted by messages and notifications. It’s handy if you have to work for school, work, or when you just want to relax.
Let’s not beat around the bush: we use our smartphones a lot. A lot. This could mean texting friends all the time, constantly reading the latest news, or scrolling for hours through addictive social media. Putting your phone away yourself turns out to be easier said than done. ‘Digital well-being’ offers solutions for this on your Android smartphone.
In this menu, you have the option to gain insight into your smartphone usage, enable which apps should not disturb you while you work (or sleep), and more. In this edition of Android tips, we explain all the features you’ll find in the Digital Wellbeing menu. This way, you know what you can do with it to improve your smartphone experience.
All settings below are in the Digital Wellbeing menu. Previously, this menu was a separate app, but since Android 10, the features have been installed as standard on smartphones.
The menu can, therefore, not be found among your other apps, but between the settings of your smartphone. In it, scroll down until you see ‘Digital wellbeing and parental controls’. Click on this, and you are ready to get started with the settings.
Determine how long you can use an app
If you open the ‘Digital Well-being and parental control’ menu, you will immediately see a pie chart with your smartphone use. You can see how much time you have spent on your smartphone today, how many times you have unlocked it, and how many notifications you have received. If you click on ‘Dashboard’, you will see even more details about which apps you use the most and how much time you use your smartphone during the week.
You can also easily set timers in this menu. That is the maximum time you can spend in an app. You can easily set such a timer by clicking on the hourglass next to the relevant app. The timer is reset at midnight. You will receive a notification when your time is up, and the icon of the relevant app will turn gray.
Bedtime mode and focus mode
To ensure that you are not distracted by your smartphone while working or sleeping, you can enable a number of settings on your smartphone. With ‘Bedtime Mode’, you reduce all distractions from your smartphone such as notifications, colors, and brightness.
This feature also works in conjunction with Do Not Disturb mode. In an earlier article, we explained in detail how to set this to your preference. You can switch on ‘Bedtime mode’ manually via the menu, but you can also have it switch on automatically with a time schedule or when you put your smartphone on the charger.
‘Focus mode’ is very similar to ‘Do not disturb’, but instead of turning off all apps and giving some exceptions to provide notifications, in focus mode, you turn off specific apps that distract you. For example, you receive important WhatsApp messages, but they won’t bother you with TikTok and Instagram.
Don’t get distracted by notifications
In the ‘Digital well-being and parental controls’ menu, you will also find ‘Manage notifications’. This is a shortcut to the menu where you can set which notifications can be forwarded per app. The extent to which you can manage these notifications varies per app.
With WhatsApp, for example, you can easily set which chat is allowed to make a sound, show a notification, or vibrate. With YouTube, you choose whether you want to receive notifications of live streams, subscriptions, or recommendations. Please check for yourself what the options are for your apps. This way, you can best adapt the notifications to your preference.
Keep your wits about you
Do you even find yourself using your smartphone while walking down the street? Then the ‘Digital well-being and parental controls’ menu also offers a useful function. You will find this under ‘Attention’ and is called ‘Koppie bij bij’.
By using your smartphone’s location and activity, your phone can determine whether you are in traffic. To prevent you from not paying enough attention to your surroundings, you will receive a notification. This way, your smartphone will hopefully prevent you from accidentally bumping into someone, a lamppost, or something else.
Finally, you can enable ‘Parental Controls’. This is done via Google’s ‘Family Link’. Want to know how to set that? Then read our article about it.
Even after these useful functions from the Digital Wellbeing menu, are you still unable to use your phone less? Then read our extensive article with even more useful tips to make you less likely to suffer from your smartphone.