Google Releases Three Applications to Help Reduce Screen Time

Google Releases Three Applications To Help Reduce Screen Time


Google has never ceased to amaze us. The American firm’s just launched three applications, Envelope, Activity Bubbles, and Screen Stopwatch, to help you regulate the time you spend on your smartphone.

google envelope

Because we spend a lot of time every day on our smartphones, Google has just launched three new applications: Envelope, Activity Bubbles and Screen Stopwatch. These applications aim at moderating the time you dedicate to new technologies and take over it. The three applications were designed as part of the experiments set up by the American firm for the digital health of its users.


Of all the 3 applications launched by Google, Envelope is undoubtedly the most original, if not the most confusing. According to Google, it is "an experimental application that temporarily transforms your phone into a simpler and quieter device to help you take a break from your digital world.”

google envelope

How does Envelope work?

In order to use Envelope, Google recommends printing a special PDF exclusively provided by the application. Fold the printed sheet so that it takes the shape of an envelope. Slide your smartphone inside the envelope.

Once inside the envelope, you won't be able to use your smartphone for your usual activities like chatting with friends, social networking, etc. You'll simply have access to all the features of a regular phone: make or receive calls, take photos and record videos. However, you'll need to unseal the envelope to view the photo or video you've taken.

Google has got it all figured out. The application is optimized for OLED screens, so it won't drain the phone battery if you want to spend a whole day on your digital detox. At the end of the day, the application allows you to see how much time you've spent without using your smartphone.

Envelope is available for Pixel 3a owners. The project is open source and its code is available on GitHub.

Activity Bubbles

Activity Bubbles makes you aware of how you use your smartphone over the course of a whole day.

How does Activity Bubbles work?

 It functions in a very simple way. Every time you unlock your smartphone, a bubble will be created on your wallpaper. The more time you spend on your device, the bigger the bubble will get. The more you use your mobile, the more bubbles you'll have on your screen at the end of the day.

google activity bubble

This application is part of Google's Digital Wellbeing Experiments program. The aim of the program is to share ideas and tools, which are designed to strike a better balance with the use of new technologies. Activity Bubbles is also available on the Play Store.

Screen Stopwatch

As scary as it may seem at first glance, the Screen Stopwatch application is certainly the most effective way to get you off your smartphone. 

How does Screen Stopwatch work?

google stopwatch

A relatively large stopwatch is displayed in real-time on your device screen. Obviously, the purpose of the application is to show you how much time you spend using it each day.

The stopwatch launches as soon as you unlock your smartphone. Of course, a constant ticking sound from your home screen even encourages you to stop touching it, so you can concentrate on other, healthier activities.