Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Are you addicted to your phone? These apps can help!

You may have celebrated your new year with great pomp and show. 2019 is one of the pivotal years from the eyes of every Indian and the fire for the same has blown already. 

But one of the news which hit Newspapers this January was keeping one Mobile Application on the floor which was health based i.e. Digital Detox App by NIMHANS and SHUT

This app focuses on monitoring of people’s engagement with their smartphones. Many fitness and physical strength based researches have been conducted in the recent past. Many of them have mentioned about smartphones being that instrument which is hindering or affecting every user on some proportional basis.

Digital Wellbeing (on Android phones) developed by Google has been of utmost importance in now – a – days to bring some constraints of one’s life with the vision to have optimum effective usage. This feature is being pushed with Android Pie 9.0 update. There are various schemes laid under the flagship of Digital Wellbeing like the following:
1. Dashboard – To understand the time spent by the user with their phones with their daily overviews and same will be showed with fantastic data visualizations through graphics. It reads everything be it counting the number of notifications one  receive, number of times the phone has been unlocked, usage of different apps
2. App Timers – Let you limit the amount of time you spend using your favorite apps
3. Do Not Disturb – The tag one has often viewed in hotels will be seen in your smartphones too. This mode can be set up to keep all visual interruptions from appearing on the screen including notifications along with the handling of acoustics.
4. Wind Down – This is one of the most interesting features because it allows the users to use their phone in the night before sleeping.

Google & Apple has amazed people from time to time by inculcating different sort of technologies inducted in them. They have been dedicated to building new technology to bring new tools to help users understand their usage of smartphones with the aim that one should eradicate waste usage of their phones, and disconnect when needed. Life is not about sticking with the phones everytime but getting involved with the nearby events and most importantly engage with family activities

Thus, all such things have been embedded in this tool to understand the real-time interaction of a user with the applications he/she is entering from time to time. This, in turn, will result to make users equipped with more information and will trigger the pro-activeness in them. There have been times when the usage of smartphones by their respective users has been very high. With having some distance with these gadgets, users will make themselves to get into another work and which will definitely be more productive with great perspective.

Monitoring the activities of children has also been added to this. A user can decide when their child should be given access to the Internet by pausing connectivity. Customizing the suite of parental controls regarding YouTube Kids can be also viewed with the Digital WellBeing. A user can be internet awesome to build smart and confident explorers in them. All this possible using Family Link.  With downtime, a user can schedule breaks from one or all Google Devices

(Also read: How Technology Got better in 2018 !!)

Even with ScreenTime from Apple (available on iPhones in iOS 12 update), one can observe these type of controls handed and delivered in the hands of the parental users to bring restricted access of children to the Internet world.

Some of the features embedded in ScreenTime:
1. Time Limits: Easily set daily time limits for your children to avoid excessive usage.
2. Instant Pause: This instantly pauses the device of one’s child. Perfect for getting on the table be it for lunch or dinner.
3. Free Play: This lets one make their children get distracted.
4.  App Usage: Easily monitor the usage of mobile apps in one’s child device.
5. Web History: Real-time monitoring for the web history or the sites visited by one’s child.


Basically, in a nutshell, it removes the concept of parents being the enforcer of rules and regulations in the home. Parents will be easily able to adhere to the family values in their children. Receiving daily reports will let the parents not to be in the dark. Screen Time requires a password in order to get it uninstalled. Even one account can be used for one family. Parents can block some apps which are inappropriate for their kids to be in their phones.

What’s Next on Card?
Mobile applications(for iOS & Android) which are working on Digital well being in order to maintain the health of person owning one or more than smartphones, have to move further to bring more automation in this development. 
  • Internal Sensors along with induction of AI will be that acumen in every smartphone to take this to next level. 
  • Features like Face Detection will add more sophistication. Face Detection can be used for the real-time monitoring of users during their bedtime to check their movement of eyes and accordingly trigger the system to decrease the screen brightness and gradually shut off the screen. 
  • AI can be used for mail reading in advance once the emails arrive in the inbox as several junks type emails come into the system of primary emails. Thus, it will bring the handling of making a priority in incoming emails and show only those emails which have some crux and user should be aware of the same. 
  • AI can bring priority with social media things by handling the notifications in order to avoid any sort of disturbance to the user when he or she is engaged with some work or some prolonged based effort is going on for an errand. 
  • Watch tool should be enhanced with some additional features. This will lead to higher real-time interactions and analytics can be done to make the user understand how current scenarios can be improvised. 
Linking with IoT (Internet of Things) will help to handle several gadgets which are electronically controlled. Apart from reading articles from various websites, these internal microelements should also discover the nutritious content
Even every user’s smartphones should be linked with their kids’ phone in order to remotely monitor from time to time to avoid them getting prone to malicious activities or getting notifications when they visit any sort of sites or apps which can be harmful to them. 

Having said that, we can see if these apps/features are really helpful in the practical world.

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