Google has just revealed three new Digital Wellbeing projects − Activity Bubbles, Screen Stopwatch, and Envelope − all of which are designed to help you “find a better balance with technology” in various different ways. In this article we’ll take a closer look at Activity Bubbles.
Activity Bubbles is a live wallpaper you can download as an app. Fire the app up and you’ll be prompted to set Activity Bubbles as your wallpaper.
The next time you navigate to your home screen, you’ll see a black background with a single grey circle on it. That circle represents a single session of phone use, and one new circle will appear each and every time you unlock your phone.
Related: Best Android phones
But that’s not all. The longer you spend on your phone, the larger the circle representing that particular session will be.
This will continue throughout the day, turning your phone’s background into a work of art − before clearing at midnight.
“Activity Bubbles helps you discover what your phone usage looks like in a day,” Google’s Experiments with Google website explains. “Each unlock creates a new bubble. The longer you stay on your phone the bigger the bubble grows.”
It’s a lot like Screen Stopwatch, another new Digital Wellbeing app − though Activity Bubbles is a lot less in your face.
Screen Stopwatch, by contrast, turns your phone’s background into a constantly ticking timer that shows you exactly how many hours, minutes and seconds you’ve spent on your phone.
If you’re like me, and looking for easy ways to monitor your phone use and loosen your attachment to your mobile, both Activity Bubbles and Screen Stopwatch could prove useful.
Activity Bubbles is by far the more subtle of the two options, so it could be worth trying that out before diving into the deep end that is Screen Stopwatch.
The Activity Bubbles app is free, and can be downloaded to Android handsets running Android 8 and above. You can download it here.
You can find out more about Digital Wellbeing features in this article.