Sleep Tracking, Data Management May Be Coming In Digital Wellbeing

AH 2019 Google Pixel 3 XL 21 digital wellbeing
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Google is hard at work to add new data management and sleep tracking features to Android's Digital Wellbeing suite. That's based on a recent APK teardown performed by XDA Developers, showing the features in development.

The most prominent feature spotted in the beta variant of Digital Wellbeing is sleep tracking. Taking advantage of Digital Wellbeing and Google Clocks, the app will show users a "snapshot" of their sleep habits. That'll be based on daily app usage, motion sensor data, and light sensor. That data will be analyzed during 'scheduled' bedtimes and utilizing a history of time zones.

The resulting readout will tell users how long they spent in bed as well as how long they were on their phones during that time. It'll also offer up insights into how the data is being used and bedtime history. Of course, turning the feature off will — based on the current iteration — delete that data.

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As an added bonus, users will be able to use a related feature called Night Notes. That'll let users take notes just before bedtime or during the night. Once they wake up, they'll be able to check those notes via a push notification from Digital Wellbeing. That way, users can be reminded of the important thoughts they've had when they're tired and most likely to forget.

Sleep and data management aren't the only features in the Digital Wellbeing beta

When the above-mentioned data management features arrive, they'll need somewhere to live in the UI. Google has that covered too with another feature that's already live in the beta variant of the app. Now, in the Digital Wellbeing's settings menu, there's a new option titled "Manage your data."

As might be expected, that houses a way for users to manage the data that the utility is accessing and sharing. For now, it contains a single option to toggle "daily device usage" and that's used to turn on or off data tracking. Specifically, that's for device unlocks, notifications, and app usage.

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In the future, it'll additionally contain options associated with tracking across work and personal profiles. It'll also be useful for accessing and controlling data sharing between Digital Wellbeing and other apps — most likely with Google apps.

These features may not be landing soon, if at all

As is always the case with APK teardowns, the features discovered aren't guaranteed. Whether because of inherent bugs, privacy and data concerns, or just a change in direction, Google may choose to abandon any of them at any time. And if the search giant doesn't, it may not launch them soon at any rate.

Given how fleshed out the features are, conversely, that eventuality doesn't seem likely.

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Bearing that in mind, these types of features have typically been revealed at Google I/O Developer Conference events. There won't be one of those this year due to on-going concerns about public gatherings. But the company is expected to fully unveil Android 11 in early June.

Android 11 is the most likely launch platform for new Digital Wellbeing tools. So Google will likely be detailing the new features at that time. The option to track or opt-out of tracking for unlocks, notifications, and app usage data is already appearing in the beta and should land sooner than later.