Google introduce three apps aimed at helping people control the time they spend on their mobile gadgets. Image by Mizter_X94 from Pixabay

Cell phone addiction has been a growing cause of concern among health professionals who fear that people might be spending too much time on their mobile devices. Now, tech giant Google Inc. has released three new apps that might help people get their screentime under control.

As part of the company’s Digital Wellbeing Experiments, Google launched a trio of apps that use different ways to tell people just how much time they’ve been using their devices. The apps are called Envelope, Screen Stopwatch, and Activity Bubbles.

1. Envelope

As its name suggests, the Envelope provides users with a set of PDF files that can be printed on paper and assembled into envelopes that can fit a smartphone, according to Business Insider. When covering the phone’s screen, they essentially turn the phone into a limited-function device.

For instance, one envelope turns a phone into a camera that can still take photos or videos but without the screen. The phone’s touch screen will still work through the paper.

Another envelope turns the smartphone into a device akin to the cell phones of the past. One can only use the device to receive or make calls. The limitation at the moment is that it only works with the Google Pixel 3a.

2. Screen Stopwatch

Just like its name suggests, the Screen Stopwatch app tells users just how many hours they spend on the phones each day. The timer starts every time the phone is unlocked and stops when the device is not in use. The idea is that people might be more conscious of the time they spend browsing their phones with this handy timer appearing on the screen.

3. Activity Bubbles

The Activity Bubbles app depicts one’s usage of the phone with a bubble. A new bubble is created every time the gadget is used, which gets bigger the longer the phone is used for that session.

For those who frequently access their phones throughout the day, it’s possible for the phone’s screen to become filled with bubbles at the end of the day. They appear as a wallpaper that can give users a rough estimate of their screentime for the day at a single glance.

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