To aid users in the current pandemic and emphasize the importance of good hygiene, Wear OS is now sending reminders to wash your hands.
Wear OS now sending wash hands reminders for good hygiene
The new reminders come courtesy of the Google Clock’s new v5 4.0 update for smartwatches running on Google’s wearables platform. The new reminder not only tells users to wash their hands; it also includes a timer to set. The timer gives three seconds to start running the water before a 40-second timer for the actual hand washing.
Once the forty seconds ends, users can expect a new reminder within 3 hours. Those who don’t want the 3-hour reminders can disable them by tapping on the notification and turning them off.
Why a hygiene reminder now?
Why is Google sending this reminder now? One reason is the need to practice good hygiene. The current pandemic is shining light on the need for more thorough hand washing. It’s convenient to quickly run one’s hands with soap through water for a few seconds, but it isn’t enough when it comes to fighting sickness and disease.
The next reason, of course, pertains to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The disease is now worldwide. The US now has the highest death toll of any country worldwide. And the disease continues to spread in the US, with all fifty states now reporting deaths.
Wisconsin now has its first death in the state. The US is currently considering ways to reopen essential businesses to boost the economy.
If the country is to reopen, though, social distancing and good hygiene practices (such as thorough hand washing) will be essential to getting the country back to some normalcy.
Failing to wash one’s hands can lead to spreading germs. Users with dirty hands can touch surfaces and infect them if they have the disease. Wear OS users aren’t the only ones washing their hands, however. Retail stores are also disinfecting store shelves and surfaces on a daily basis now to prevent the spread of disease.
Google’s additional efforts
Google is doing a number of things to aid in the fight against what US President Donald Trump calls “the invisible enemy.” The search engine giant is partnering with the World Health Organization (WHO) for momentary updates on the COVID-19 fight on its search engine.
In addition, Google has been providing reliable sources for citizens on its YouTube video platform. The company finally launched its resource hub. Now, Google is partnering with Apple to provide cross-platform contact-tracing so that authorities can gather data to aid in the global fight.
Additionally, Google has removed all coronavirus apps from the Play Store. Searching for apps on COVID-19 will only bring up FEMA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) apps. The company is also using its AI (Google Assistant) to provide helpful tips for users.