If you find yourself spending countless hours scrolling Reddit or watching short videos on TikTok and Instagram, the Digital Wellbeing app introduced by Google with Android 9 can significantly help you cut down on these unhealthy habits by putting up restrictions such as daily app timers and triggering bedtime mode when your set bedtime passes.
It certainly is a good feature and can radically improve your quality of life just by cutting down on the amount of time you spend staring at your phone. A teardown on the latest version of the Digital Wellbeing app carried out by 9to5Google gives new clues that the tech giant wants to expand the functionalities of the app by adding cough and snore detection while you are asleep.
9to5Google explains that the “Cough and Snore Detection” will be part of Digital Wellbeing’s “Bedtime mode”. Once introduced, it will use your smartphone’s microphone to listen to the sounds you make while you sleep and track how much you are snoring or coughing while you are in dreamland.
This feature will join a raft of others aimed at making sure you get the right amount of break from your smartphone at night including enabling greyscale, disabling always on display, enabling dark theme and also triggering Do Not Disturb mode.
Keeping users’ privacy in mind, Cough and Snore detection will have to be manually enabled and granted microphone access. Furthermore, the sensor will only be active during the pre-defined hours.
Since Google Clock can already track how long you have been sleeping by using your phone’s gyroscope and ambient light sensor to determine whether your phone is staying motionless the whole night, the Cough and Snore detection will tap into this functionality to ensure it is actually tracking your sleeping patterns at the right time.
Your sleeping data will then be displayed alongside the other existing information about app usage. Graphs spanning the whole week will be neatly presented with information such as the average cough count and the average time spent snoring presented as “average cough count” and “average time snoring” respectively.
9to5google concludes by mentioning that they are not sure whether the feature will come to all devices that have Digital Wellbeing or it will be limited to Pixel phones. I personally expect the feature to be rolled out to all Android devices rocking Android 9.0 and above, as it does not make any sense locking it to the Pixel line up.
For alternatives, newer smartwatches including the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 5 series can also monitor your sleeping patterns and keep you informed on whether you snore or not. However, Google rolling out the feature to all smartphones will certainly benefit a lot of users who do not have smartwatches