Google's Digital Wellbeing gets a 30-minute snooze button for Wind Down

Digital Wellbeing app on a Pixel 3 XL
Digital Wellbeing app on a Pixel 3 XL (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's Wind Down feature encourages digital wellbeing by reducing distractions at bedtime.
  • The firm is now adding a new feature to let you pause wind down for half an hour.
  • It's rolling out automatically in the Play Store to Beta users.

When it comes to getting you off your phone, Digital Wellbeing's Wind Down is pretty effective. Aside from muting all your notifications, it also strips all the colors from your beautiful screen with greyscale, gently nudging you off to bed. However, like an alarm clock that foes off too soon, it's quite tempting to simply turn off Wind Down to do one task or the other while promising to get back to it in 'one more minute', and then never turn it on again.

Today (spotted by the folks over at Android Police), Google has started rolling out a new feature to Beta users of the Digital Wellbeing app that lets you temporarily turn Wind Down off for 30 minutes. In effect, a snooze button. Previously, if you wanted to stay on your phone a little longer, you'd switch Wind Down off. Now, Google lets you just hit snooze for 30 minutes longer via a new "pause for 30 minutes" button in the notification center, letting you eat your cake and have it too. At the end of the 30 minute period, Wind Down will turn itself back on again, as well as remain a persistent presence in the notification center. The temptation to keep tapping "pause for 30 minutes" may be strong, but at least it'll be an additional barrier to stop you from turning it off completely.

If WInd Down's not sufficient, Google also debuted a couple of experimental apps to help keep you off your phone. In essence, Google really wants you to think carefully about how you're using your phone so it doesn't control you. Personally, I don't need them. I can quit and put my phone down whenever I want, just later.

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Michael Allison