The beta version of the Digital Wellbeing app for Android 9 Pie devices appeared on the Google Play Store on Wednesday, two days after the latest stable edition of the world’s most used operating system officially launched. The development marks the start of the platform’s testing phase that will run for at least two months, with Digital Wellbeing being expected to hit the stable channel this fall, simultaneously with a wider release of Android 9 Pie. As expected, the app is only compatible with devices running the newest OS build, meaning you’ll only be able to install it on the Pixel and Pixel 2 handsets, as well as the Essential PH-1 for the time being.
While legitimate Digital Wellbeing APK files are already floating the web, attempting to side-load them on one of the unsupported devices won’t amount to anything but a package parsing error, even if you’re running a beta version of Android 9 Pie. While the newly released app is a large part of the Digital Wellbeing equation, Google’s initiative spans more than just a single mobile tool and has instead been envisioned as a comprehensive ecosystem of software that will allow you to get things done on your smartphone in a swifter manner, allowing you to reduce your electronic device usage.
Predictive action suggestions powered by artificial intelligence are an important part of that effort, as are in-depth usage metrics that will provide you with insight in how much time you spend on your smartphone every day, allowing you to consciously alter your behavior if you deem doing so necessary. Google is presenting Digital Wellbeing as a long-term ambition to ensure time invested in Android devices is well spent and the program is likely to continue being supported with Android Q and other future iterations of the mobile OS. Refer to the Play Store banner below to enroll in the Digital Wellbeing beta program if you have a compatible device.