When Android Pie was unveiled and released last week, I pretty much craved pie because everyone was talking about the delectable dessert. But, I was also very excited about one particular feature: The Digital Wellbeing Dashboard.
Announced earlier, this dashboard was supposed to be a ticket to a healthier lifestyle — well, at least in theory. In an effort to curb unhealthy phone user habits, a dashboard that tracks app usage is built in to Android’s newest operating system. Although not available to everyone as of writing, Pixel users (like yours truly) are able to try out the beta version of the dash. Since I’m a sucker for self-actualization and information that may potentially heal (and hurt) me, I tried it out for the last week or so and here’s what I learned.
I’m on my phone — a lot
No sh*t, Sherlock.
I know I’m always looking at these tiny screens but I didn’t realize I was literally living my life in front of it. A record day saw me looking at the screen for — get this — 11 hours and 55 minutes. That’s half a day! Legitimately, that’s the whole time I’m not sleeping. And take note, I review phones so this isn’t the only screen I look at in a day.
Given these numbers, I’m honestly unsure how I get anything else done in my life.
I get a ton of notifications
I mean sure, technology connects people, but I didn’t realize just how connected we are.
According to my data, I get around a minimum of 250 notifications per day and this number varies. At some point, there was a whopping 620 notifications. Let’s think about that for a minute; that means around 51 messages per hour in a 12-hour day. There are only 60 minutes per hour so that means almost a message for each freaking minute.
On average, Facebook Messenger tops the list for these notifications followed by Gmail and Telegram.
I check Instagram more than I should
Now, this is funny because as you just saw, Instagram isn’t on that list of top app notifiers. But, this might also be because I turned off IG notifications because they were distracting me (yay for being self-aware?). This health dashboard tells me that I unlocked my Instagram app most, with as many as 153 times in one day. This was, on average, followed by Facebook and Twitter.
The top three apps I spent time on are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, which just tells me that I’m ‘gram crazy and I’m on social media too much (which isn’t really news to anyone).
Grayscale is annoying and I hate it
Part of the dashboard is a feature aimed at curbing being on your phone before bed (which I do a lot 🙄). Wind Down allows you to set such times and then gives you an option to turn on Do Not Disturb and a Grayscale that makes browsing less desirable for people who should be sleeping and not looking at their phones.
Reading tweets on grayscale is weird and browsing through Instagram is just plain wrong. I guess, in that way, this function is effective in getting me to stop being on my phone — until I turned it off the next day and never turned it on again.
I refuse to turn on the app timer as I justify social media use as work
Say what you want because it’s true. 😅
See, there’s a timer option on the dash that allows you to limit app usage time. Thing is, I’ve never turned it on. Why? Because I work on the internet and turning it on may amount to catastrophic consequences.
I will keep using this to justify my action of disallowing app time limits, so what’s your excuse?
It must be noted that, as mentioned earlier, I use more than one phone on a daily basis and am on social media on my laptop a lot, too. That being said, it’s worth pointing out that this still isn’t a complete picture of my daily phone and internet habits. Even though this data only shows a fraction of the grand picture, it already says a lot.
As with everything in life, the choice is in your hands (er, on your phone). Though I am ultimately left to decide what to do about my phone habits, knowing is always the first step.
New Huawei phones are suspended from having Facebook out of the box
Another blow to Huawei, but this is minimal
Here’s more news about the US trade ban against Huawei. The latest American company to take action is Facebook. The popular social networking company is no longer allowing pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones.
The latest blow to the Chinese tech giant doesn’t necessarily mean users won’t be able to access Facebook. According to a report by Reuters, customers who already bought Huawei phones will still be able to use Facebook apps and receive updates. Although, new Huawei phones will no longer have Facebook pre-installed. Other Facebook-owned apps are also affected including WhatsApp and Instagram.
If you purchased a Huawei phone lately, you might have noticed that your phone came with a few apps pre-installed — aside from the native apps, of course. Usually, smartphone vendors have deals with developers like Facebook to make their app widely available. Aside from Facebook, Huawei phones also come pre-installed with Twitter and Booking.com in many markets.
While Facebook’s move to stay away won’t badly hurt Huawei, it could affect the partnership sales outlook. Again, the Facebook ban only affects Huawei phones that have yet to come out of the factory. Also, Facebook can still be downloaded from the Google Play Store assuming Huawei will not lose access to it soon.
Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat
Could lead to less secure apps
For three weeks, Huawei’s biggest concerns were the loss of Android and ARM architecture support. The recent Trump ban created pandemonium for the Chinese company. Since the ban’s announcement, Huawei has struggled with solutions and appeals. Unfortunately, the company’s troubles are not stopping.
In a Financial Times report, Google argues that Trump’s ban will ironically open Huawei to more cybersecurity issues. Likewise, an Android ban will cascade down to the operating system’s supported apps. Users will likely resort to less secure installation methods for their lost apps.
Google further explains that using an Android hybrid (since the platform is open-source by nature) could result in more holes in the system’s security. Huawei’s alternative — either their own custom OS or a forked Android variant — will not offer the same amount of protection.
In related news, Facebook has banned their app’s pre-installs on their future smartphones. Currently, Huawei’s phones come installed with Facebook’s slew of apps — Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Arguably, all three apps are essential pieces of a smartphone’s ecosystem. As such, smartphone makers often strike pre-installation deals with app developers, allowing devices to come with these essential apps.
Of course, Huawei users can still install them manually through the Google Play Store. However, this method is also in jeopardy. By August 19, Google is forced to sever support for Huawei, pending a permanent resolution. The ban can feasibly take the Play Store with it. If that happens, Huawei users can no longer install Facebook through the usual means. Users will start resorting to Huawei’s own store or APK installs.
Huawei’s continued dealing with bans rings an ominous death knell for the Chinese company. Without a conclusive resolution, the world’s number-two smartphone manufacturer is facing an uncertain, dangerous future for its phones, inside and out.
Final Fantasy’s music officially comes to Spotify
From every game in the series!
Square Enix has done something we’ve all been wishing for: Uploading a collection of official Final Fantasy soundtracks to Spotify and other music streaming platforms.
News began spreading around the web as Spotify users noticed that there are heaps more FF songs available. It’s also been reported that Apple Music and Amazon Music have them, as well.
The uploaded tracks span all main FF entries plus direct sequels and spin-offs. If you’ve ever been in the mood for a gaming nostalgia trip at home or on the road, this may be the best time.
While there has been FF-related music on Spotify in the past, this is the first time it’s been made official. And yes, it includes songs from Final Fantasy VIII.
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review: For those who like it small
A pocketable flagship-like phone
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX701) review
Refinement of a modern classic
OPPO A5s Review: Is it really any different?
Bang for the buck, at a cost of key features
Huawei offers a ‘Special Warranty Program’ that promises 100% refund
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry made up and Twitter is not calm
The Range Rover Evoque is a luxury SUV to beat
Google Pixel 4 spotted in the wild, new camera layout confirmed
Huawei’s foldable phone is delayed to make sure it won’t be like Samsung’s
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Enterprise2 weeks ago
ASUS is banned from using ‘ZenFone’ branding in India
Deals5 days ago
Pocophone F1’s cheaper price makes it an even better flagship-specced phone
Apps2 weeks ago
Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat
India7 days ago
Samsung Galaxy M40 is a budget phone with triple rear cameras
Computers7 days ago
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: Dell embraces a circular economy
News2 weeks ago
Xiaomi Mi 9T unboxed ahead of official launch, has midrange specs
News2 weeks ago
Samsung updates two-year-old Galaxy J7 Pro with Android Pie
News1 week ago
Huawei and Apple make the strongest phones, research says