Google warns Android users who look at their smartphone while walking

Being distracted in traffic is extremely dangerous. Google is therefore working on a way to keep people walking away from their smartphones.

The “Digital Wellbeing” service from Android is getting a new function that can protect against accidents in road traffic. A “heads up” notification should warn of this if you are walking and looking at your smartphone.

A little reminder to stay alert in traffic

The function appeared in the code of the beta version of the “Digital Wellbeing” app at the end of 2020. But now a Twitter user has actually been able to apply it in practice.

If Google’s Heads Up is active, the smartphone automatically recognizes when you look at the display while walking. A notification will then appear like “Look up” – “Look ahead” – followed by “Avoid using the phone while walking”. The code of the digital wellbeing app also contains other possible instructions, including “Watch your step” (“Be careful when walking”) and “Stay alert”.

— Jay Prakash Kamat (@jay__kamat) April 12, 2021 “>

Google describes the feature as follows: “If you leave while using your phone, you will get a reminder to focus on your surroundings”. However, the company also explicitly warns to use heads up with caution. The feature is not a use for mindfulness while walking.

Also interesting: Google Maps is getting new functions thanks to AI

Google heads up for the time being only for beta testers

So far, Heads up can only be found in the beta version of the digital wellbeing app. Apparently, however, the function is unlocked in waves. We installed the beta version on a Google Pixel 3a and OnePlus 8 Pro, but the option did not appear.

You can find out whether the function is available for you in Android Settings > Digital Wellbeing & Parental Controls. Click the three vertical dots, then click Beta Program. Select the Become A Tester option , then download the beta version of Digital Wellbeing from the Google Play Store. Now open the service again and click on Show my data . The heads-up function can be found there as an option if it is already available on your smartphone.

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