0

Digital Wellbeing is a feature/app built in to recent Google phones and some phones with Google-licensed Android distributions, but it isn't open source, so unfortunately it doesn't seem like it would be possible to modify it and add new features. I am looking for something a little more powerful, that would allow me to, for example:

  • Group a bunch of social media apps together, and have one time limit per day that covers them all as a group, rather than timing the usage of each individual app separately. For example, instead of limiting myself to 30 minutes on Twitter, 30 minutes on Facebook, and 30 minutes on Reddit, I would like to be able to limit myself to 1.5 hours in total on any "social media" app (the group of apps being definable by me, and I would define it to include Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and perhaps others). So with that "group limit", I would be able to spend, for example, 1 hour on Twitter and 30 minutes on Facebook, but then it wouldn't allow me to use any of those 3 apps for the remainder of the day.
  • Disable the time limits automatically at weekends, and re-enable them at the beginning of the next week
  • Disable all the time limits manually in the evening, but have them re-enabled automatically the following day, in case I forget to do so.

Is there any way I can achieve these goals?

Also, is there any way to also achieve these goals on my Windows PC, in a unified way? Right now I'm just blocking those particular websites on my PC, as a workaround. That means I can only access them on my phone, so I don't have an easy way to get around the time limits I've set up on my phone. But it would be nice to have a time limit that's shared across all of my devices.

1

TimeLimit can be used to achieve the first three goals. Steps to follow:

  1. Go into Settings -> Digital Wellbeing and delete all existing time limits, making a note of them as you do so, so you can recreate them below. They will be managed by Timelimit instead, from now on.
  2. Install Timelimit from F-Droid (where it is called Open Timelimit) or Google Play.
  3. Open the Timelimit app
  4. Grant all the permissions requested - except the device management permission, which is optional, and dangerous, because I think it is impossible to unlock your phone if you forget your "parental" password.
  5. Set a password for the "parental" user (which can be just you, or it can be someone else who you trust to set limits on your behalf)
  6. Add apps which you don't want to be time-limited to the "Allowed Apps" category. Be warned that notifications will be limited too - so make sure to add apps which you want to receive notifications at all times from, to this category!
  7. Create a new category, e.g. "Social media".
  8. Add the apps that you want to be in this category
  9. Set a time limit for each day that you want the time limit to apply on, individually. So if you want to limit the apps during week days, you have to create 5 separate limits, one for each day. There is a warning message that warns you that you have to do it this way, but it's easy to skip past it and miss it. The problem is, if you just select all 5 week days, your limit will apply to the whole 5 days, and once it's exceeded, it's exceeded for the whole week!

The "child" user is the user that is restricted, and does not need a password. You can rename that user if you are not a child, by going into it and tapping the gear icon.

If you are asking someone else to manage the time limits on your behalf, perhaps because you don't trust yourself to manage them appropriately, there is currently no option to rename the "parent 1" user, but you can achieve the same effect by creating a new "parent" and then deleting "parent 1".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.