Google Wants Users to Look Up While Walking with ‘Heads Up’ Mode in Digital Wellbeing

Google starts rolling out digital wellbeing Heads Up mode

To help users curb their mobile usage and prevent screen addiction, Google has been adding new features and apps to improve Digital Wellbeing. Earlier last year, we had reported that a new Digital Wellbeing feature called Heads Up was in the works. Now, the Mountain View giant has started rolling out the new ‘Heads Up’ mode to Pixel users.

New Digital Wellbeing Heads Up Mode

The Heads Up mode (not to be confused with the Heads-Up Notification on Android) was first spotted by folks at 9to5Google in November last year. It is a Digital Wellbeing feature that prevents users from staring at their phones while walking on the streets.

Once you enable the feature in the Digital Wellbeing app on your Android device, you will get pop-up notifications that will encourage you to stop using your smartphone while strolling outdoors. However, it is worth mentioning that you need to grant the app permissions to use your Physical Activity data and location data all the time to use Heads Up mode. This way, the feature can then detect physical movements and know whether you are outside or not to alert you.

The new Heads Up mode is entirely optional as users need to turn it on manually from the Digital Wellbeing app. Moreover, this feature does not completely prevent you from using your device while walking. It just delivers notification alerts to help you prevent any road accidents. You can dismiss it and continue to scroll Instagram while walking outside.

Some of the notification alerts include:

  • Be careful ?
  • Look ahead ?
  • Stay focused ?
  • Look up ⬆️
  • Stay alert ?
  • Watch out ✋?
  • Watch your step ?


Coming to the availability of the new Heads Up mode, it is currently rolling out to beta testers on Pixel devices. It is available in beta v1.0.364375698 of the Digital Wellbeing app. Subin from our team was able to experience the feature on his Pixel 3XL.

So, if you are a beta tester and using a compatible device, then you should find the new mode inside the Digital Wellbeing app. However, if you do not see it, go to Settings -> Apps -> Digital Wellbeing. Clear the cache of the said app and tap the “Force Stop” button. Then re-open the Digital Wellbeing app, and you should see the new “Heads Up” mode.

VIA 9to5Google
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