Among the many new features in Android Pie, one of the biggest (and probably one of the most useful) is Digital Wellbeing – Google’s attempt to help people regain control over their smartphone addictions. However, even now, this feature is not available on many devices except Pixel series smartphones and some Android One phones in the wild. So, if you’re waiting to get your hands on it, here’s how you can get Digital Wellbeing on any Android phone running Android 9 Pie.
How to Achieve Digital Wellbeing on Any Android Pie Device
We previously wrote an article about getting Digital Wellbeing on Rooted Android Pie smartphones, but not everyone wants to root their phone and if you are one of those people, this guide is for you.
Note: I tried this method on my OnePlus 5 running Oxygen OS beta with Android Pie and a OnePlus 6 running on stable Android Pie based Oxygen OS. So the method should also work on your phone as long as it’s running Android Pie.
Achieving Digital Wellbeing is actually quite simple. To start using Android Pie on your phone, simply follow the steps below.
- Download and install the Digital Wellbeing app from: this link.
- You will need a third-party launcher for the next step. You can use one of our recommendations for the best Android launchers or use any launcher that allows you to create activity shortcuts. I am using Nova Launcher (download), but the steps will apply to almost any third-party launcher.
- Tap and hold home screen. From the options that pop up, Tap widgets. Here, under Nova Launcher widgets, Tap and hold ‘Events’ and drag it to your home screen.
- Nova Launcher will show you a list of activities it can launch based on the apps installed on your phone. Tap on Digital Balance. Tap on ‘ from the drop-down list..home.Top LevelSettingsEvent.’
- Start Digital Balance from the home screen icon you just added. You won’t see the dashboard yet, but we’ll fix that soon. For now, Enable the toggle next to ‘Show icon in app list’.
- This will make the Digital Balance icon appear in your app drawer. Now you can safely uninstall Nova Launcher if you want..
- Next, Tap on ‘Dashboard’ In the Digital Balance app. It will ask you to enable Usage Access permission from Settings. Tap on ‘Change in Settings‘.
- Here, tap on Digital Balance and Activate the switch that says ‘Allow usage access’.
That’s it, you can now use Digital Wellbeing on your Android phone without rooting. However, not all features will work on your phone. This has to do with the fact Many features of the app depend on privileged settings which can only be granted if you are using a rooted device. For example, Digital Balance requires permissions such as ‘SUSPEND_APPS’ and ‘MODIFY_PHONE_STATE’ which are privileged settings. Therefore, the following things won’t work:
- Down Wind: This feature basically makes it easier for you to go to bed on time without being distracted by your phone, by making your screen grayscale when it’s time to sleep. It also turns off notifications so that your sleep is not disturbed.
- Application Timers: That’s a bit big, because setting app timers is a pretty important part of using Digital Balance to combat smartphone addiction.
Anyway, I’ll try to find a way to get these things working, but in the meantime, you’ll be able to use Digital Wellbeing on your Android Pie smartphone and at least get an idea of how much time you have. Find out what you’re spending on your phone and which apps. I’ll update this article when a fix for these features comes out, so check back for updates. You should also check out some great app blocking apps if you want to combat smartphone addiction by limiting your use of different apps.
Take Control of Your Smartphone Usage with Digital Balance
That sums up our guide to installing Digital Wellbeing on any Android phone running Android 9.0 Pie. Currently, although you won’t be able to set app timers or use Slow mode without rooting your phone, you can use Digital Balance to get an idea of how dependent you are on your smartphone and how many times a day. receive, the number of notifications you receive, and more. Also, if you know of a way to get the Wind Down and App Timer features working without rooting or using Magisk, let us know in the comments below. We will check it for sure.