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Google responds to claims that Digital Wellbeing hurts Pixel performance

Two weeks ago, a Reddit thread went viral amongst Pixel users around the world. The advice seemed to offer a miracle cure for users suffering from choppy performance and weak battery life: disable Digital Wellbeing.

Although feedback was mixed, enough people were convinced at the effectiveness that we suggested it was worth a try. But now Google has popped up on Reddit to issue an official response, right there in the same thread. And the company is claiming that Digital Wellbeing is blameless.

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“Thank you for bringing this to our attention and sharing bug reports with us,” the response begins. “We’re committed to continually improving Pixel based on user feedback.

“We conducted a thorough analysis based on the bug reports and internal testing, and have found no performance issues associated with the Digital Wellbeing app on Pixel. During the investigation, we identified changes unrelated to the bug reports for improving performance, and we are in the process of rolling out those changes to make your Pixel device better.

“As always if you experience issues related to performance or any other aspect of Pixel, please review the troubleshooting steps in our online support tool or reach out to customer service.”

Suffice to say, not everyone is convinced.

That’s odd, because my Pixel 2 gained 1-1.5 hours more of screen time after I disabled Digital Wellbeing and that was the only change I made,” one Pixel user replied. “For months I’ve had about ~4 hours of screen time per charge every cycle, and a couple days after turning off Digital Wellbeing I’ve started hitting the 5-5.5 hour mark.

“Maybe I specifically had a bug that this fixed, but turning off Digital Wellbeing definitely made a difference for me.”

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Others agreed: “My Brother has a Pixel 3, and turning off Digital Wellbeing fixed his slowness issues, he had been trying to find a solution for ages, till he saw this thread,” said one. “I also saw an immediate difference when I disabled this app,” added another.

We’ll just have to see how impactful the fixes Google rolls out are. For the moment, it sounds like disabling Digital Wellbeing can’t be discounted yet, no matter what Google says. Even if it is a placebo, given it’s an easily reversible software change, there’s no harm in trying.

Have you tried disabling Digital Wellbeing on Pixel? Did it have any impact? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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