Google announced Digital Wellbeing last year with Android 9.0 Pie as a feature which would help Android users to find a balance between their digital and real lives. However, it seems that this feature is actually more of a problem than a solution.
According to a thread on Reddit, certain Pixel smartphones have slowed down due to the Digital Wellbeing feature. Up until now, it was assumed that Google’s choice of using 4GB RAM on the Pixel devices was the culprit. But users on the thread claim that shutting this feature meant a drastic change in the performance. While the issue has not been confirmed by Google itself, certain users claim improvement in performance on the original Pixel phones after turning off Digital Wellbeing, which apparently takes up too much RAM.
Digital Wellbeing offers insight by taking into account your data, apps, content and other things residing on your Android device. It is a set of tools that help you understand how much time you are spending on your device and if needed, effectively act upon it and take control of your life.
Theoretically, it should monitor your phone in real-time, which means that it continuously runs in the background and takes some amount of RAM. While we are not sure if this is actually slowing down Pixel smartphones, but if you wish to turn off this feature, follow these steps.
- Open Settings and look for Digital Wellbeing.
- Tap on it and you will see your stats. Hit the three-dotted menu on the top right and select “Turn off usage access”
- You will see a prompt to confirm your action and will be redirected to the Usage Access settings.
- Select Digital Wellbeing and restrict access.
We are going to try this on a Pixel 2 XL to see if it actually helps in improving the performance. In case you have tried and succeeded, do let us know.