Google launched 3 new apps to help you put your phone down

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Google launched 3 new apps to help you put your phone down

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  • Google released three new apps to cut down on screen time. 
  • The apps vary in how they function, from simply making a user aware of how many times they unlock their phone, to asking them to put their phone away in an envelope.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It seems like everyone is interested in digital detoxes and lowering screentime, from the Silicon Valley investors who are 'dopamine fasting,' to tech executives who raise their kids tech-free.

Now Google is getting in on the trend. The internet company has introduced three new screentime apps as part of its Digital Wellbeing Experiments.

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Each of the trio of apps - first noticed by Android Police - use a different concept or technique to make users more aware of their screen time, including a giant stopwatch that counts how long a phone is unlocked, an interface that inflates bubbles on your homescreen, and even a special set-up that involves placing the phone in an envelope so that it can only be used for one function at a time.

How effective these apps will be in helping you limit your screentime remains to be seen. But if you're looking for help managing your phone use, you may find that one of these apps works best for you.

Here's how the three new Google screentime apps work:

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The first app is called Envelope, and it's exactly what is sounds like: a set of PDF files that you print out, and which become envelopes that your fits into.

The first app is called Envelope, and it's exactly what is sounds like: a set of PDF files that you print out, and which become envelopes that your fits into.

The envelopes cover up the screen and essentially turn your phone into a limited-function device.

One of these envelopes turns phones into cameras capable of taking photos and videos, but with no screen.

One of these envelopes turns phones into cameras capable of taking photos and videos, but with no screen.

The touch screen still works through the paper.

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The other is even more basic, and allows the phone only to make and receive calls.

The other is even more basic, and allows the phone only to make and receive calls.

Envelope is currently available on the Google Play Store, although it is only available for the Google Pixel 3a.

Envelope is currently available on the Google Play Store, although it is only available for the Google Pixel 3a.

Download here.

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See the app in action.

Screen Stopwatch tells you exactly how much time you spend on your phone each day.

Screen Stopwatch tells you exactly how much time you spend on your phone each day.
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The timer continues each time the phone is unlocked.

The timer continues each time the phone is unlocked.

See it in action here.

See it in action here.

Download Screen Stopwatch here.

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Activity Bubbles provides a visual representation of the time you spend on your phone throughout the day by adding a bubble every time the phone is unlocked.

Activity Bubbles provides a visual representation of the time you spend on your phone throughout the day by adding a bubble every time the phone is unlocked.

The more time you spend on the phone in a given session, the larger the bubble becomes. Soon your screen may become plastered with bubbles of all sizes.

The more time you spend on the phone in a given session, the larger the bubble becomes. Soon your screen may become plastered with bubbles of all sizes.

Users have the option to make the bubbles their wallpaper, which can be a reminder of screen time every time the phone is unlocked.

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See how it works here.

See how it works here.

Download Activity Bubbles here.