Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Google's Pixel phones are being slowed down by their Digital Wellbeing feature

Android Q has a native Desktop Mode – developers can test it now! Google's Pixel phones are being slowed down by their Digital Wellbeing feature
Emmett Howard | 14 May, 2019, 18:28

It runs in the background and keeps track of how long you use your phone as well as individual apps, each day.

Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL users are reporting a significant bump in performance after stopping the Digital Wellbeing app in Android.

Yes, having Digital Wellbeing switched on slows your phone down, ergo you end up spending even more time on it, usually shouting at it and threatening to throw it down a narrow hall. Android Q is slick as hell, but the phone does feel slow so much of the time - that is, until I stumbled across this post on Reddit recommending disabling Digital Wellbeing in Android to speed up the phone, and holy crap did it work. Or to see how many notifications they've gotten today.

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It's a little odd that Pixel 3a users are having issues with Digital Wellbeing on their smartphones. The affected devices range from the Pixel 3 variants all the way to the original Pixel from 2016. We disabled Digital Wellbeing just to make sure, and it appeared to be just as fast with it disabled as it was with it enabled. It's even more likely now because a user on Slashleaks found a drawing in a Google patent that shows a new smartphone design just like the leaks we've seen so far. However, there is a list of 21 other devices on which Android Q beta version is already available for download.

And back in January, you may recall that Marvin Chow - Google's VP of Product Marketing - fired off the following tweet featuring a side-by-side comparison shot of a photo taken with an iPhone XS and one taken with a Pixel 3. Over the weekend, people in Washington D.C. noticed a new billboard ad that cleverly highlights the iPhone's subpar low light camera performance while also reminding folks that it's $600 more expensive than a Pixel 3a.

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