If you step out of your home and observe the nearest road, chances are, you will find at least one person walking while using their smartphone. Perhaps, you’re that person reading this during a walk. Either way, this isn’t healthy behavior and Google is preparing a new Digital Wellbeing feature to help you with this situation.
As spotted by the folks over at 9to5Google in an APK insight, Google is working on a feature called ‘Heads Up’ (not to be confused with heads-up notifications) for Digital Wellbeing. Code evidence proving the existence of the feature was present in the latest Digital Wellbeing beta version 1.0.342229637.
According to the report, Heads Up will remind you to stop using your phone when you’re walking. “Get reminders to stop using your phone while you’re walking. Use with caution. Heads Up doesn’t replace paying attention,” reads the feature description.
The feature uses two permissions – Location and Physical activity. Physical activity is required for detecting whenever you’re walking, while Location is an optional permission to help detect when you’re outdoors. In other words, if you grant Location permission, the feature will work only when you’re outdoors. Although it requires you to allow location access all the time, I think it is a neat addition as the feature doesn’t make much sense indoors.
Once enabled, you will get one of the following messages in the form of a notification urging you to stop using your phone:
- Be careful 🚧
- Look ahead 👀
- Stay focused 📵
- Look up ⬆️
- Stay alert 🚦
- Watch out ✋🏼
- Watch your step 👣
As someone who extensively uses Digital Wellbeing features like Focus mode, I can’t wait to try out these new Heads up notifications. Maybe, this will help me stay focused or talk to others instead of mindlessly scrolling my life away during a quick commute. For now, we will have to wait until Google rolls out the feature to everyone.