Digital Wellbeing feature reportedly slowing down Pixel phones

Digital Wellbeing feature reportedly slowing down Pixel phones

Google just announced two new Pixel phones at I/O 2019. It runs in the background and keeps track of how long you use your phone as well as individual apps, each day.

A thread on Reddit, particularly around the Pixel 3, discusses on how disabling Digital Wellbeing has drastically improved the performance of the phone.

Thankfully, this doesn't impact on all features of the Digital Wellbeing service - the Wind Down functionality (which allows you to schedule a time for Do Not Disturb mode, Night Light mode and the grayscale filter that all help to discourage unwanted phone usage at certain hours) still works fine, for example. Digital Wellbeing is created to be a feature that gets you to use your smartphone less, so this sounds a bit more like a feature rather than a bug. It's still unclear why this would happen, and it's even possible that Digital Wellbeing is not at fault.

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Google's Andrii Kulian, Software Engineer on the Android Framework WindowManager Team working on Multi-Display, discussed this feature at length in a session called "Build Apps for Foldable, Multi-Display, and Large-Screen Devices". In the rapairability score, the Pixel 3a series scored 6 points out of 10, which means that it's fairly easy to fix. This does include the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones along with devices from a few other big brands. In many ways, the Pixel 3a - which is positioned as a premium device that won't break the bank - fills a gap Apple left open when it curiously discontinued the iPhone SE a year ago.

"First, an alleged Pixel 3 Lite turned up in live photos from the confines of the former Soviet Union, complete with a writeup of the current specs - the processor, the RAM amount, the 12MP/8MP camera combo, the 5.56" display - everything was listed about six months before the unveiling.

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.

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