Google has extended its line of experimental Android applications for Digital Wellbeing. Paper Phone, which is designed to reduce the amount of time spent behind the screen, is a new product.
This program offers a distraction from the mobile device by printing the content on ordinary paper. Any information that may be needed during the day, such as address book data, case lists, maps or calendar meetings, can be converted into an analogue form. Recipes, phrasebook and notes can also be transferred to paper.
By installing Paper Phone, users can select the data to export and save it as a PDF file. It can then be printed as a folding booklet and carried with you. You can download it from Google Play.
Paper Phone, the developers say, is designed for “people who think they spend too much time behind their phones and can’t find the right middle ground with the technology.
New applications from Google are different from those that were developed to manage the time spent behind the screen of a mobile device. Each program has open, public source code – Google’s idea is to encourage users to think differently.
One of the applications was called Unlock Clock – the program shows in a simple form how many times the user unlocked the phone in one day. The We Flip application allows a group of friends or family to shut down completely by clicking the big switch – if one of the people unlocks the phone, the session ends immediately for everyone. There are also Desert Island and Morph: both programs use an approach aimed at reducing the time spent behind the display. The first of the applications is proposed to spend the day only with the most important applications, while the second is designed to help ensure concentration for users by selecting the appropriate programs at the selected time of day.
This is not the first time that technology giants are trying to find a way to minimize the risk of smartphone dependency. In 2018, Apple introduced the ability to accurately track when and how users “spend” their time using their phones. Google offers similar opportunities for devices on the Android while simultaneously opening up the Digital Wellbeing Experiments platform to all developers and other creative people.
Currently, the new Google apps only run on Android-based smartphones from the U.S. manufacturer, Android, and are not yet available on the iOS platform.