Google's "Heads Up" feature is here to remind you to stop using your phone while walking

Google's "Heads Up" feature is here to remind you to stop using your phone while walking
The new Heads Up featureJay Prakash Kamat
  • The Heads Up feature on Android will keep you safe from distracted walking.
  • It aims to avoid mishaps that might happen when you're not paying attention to the surroundings.
  • The feature is being rolled out only on Pixel phones for now.
In a teardown of the Digital Wellbeing app by Google in November 2020, folks at XDA -- a community for developers -- found an interesting unreleased feature called Heads Up. Almost five months later, the feature is now reportedly being rolled out by the US-based tech giant to some of its Pixel phone users.

We've seen a rise in the number of fatalities due to the use of phones while driving/riding. Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have rolled out a solution within Android Auto or Apple Carplay to avoid such accidents, but there was nothing similar for mishaps that happen with people using phones while walking. The Heads Up feature addresses just that.

A Twitter user, Jay Prakash Kamat, has shared screenshots that show the Heads Up feature on his Pixel 4A smartphone. This feature is meant to prompt users to keep their heads up while walking to avoid road accidents.

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The shared screenshots are very similar to the ones that were dug by XDA's Mishaal Rahman that says "Watch your step with Heads Up". The setup screen briefs what the feature is about, i.e alerting you to stop using the phone while walking.

You can find the Heads Up feature inside the ‘Reduce Interruptions’ section of the Digital Wellbeing app. Once you tap on it, it will brief you about the feature and once you tap on 'next', it will begin the setup process, which when enabled will send you a reminder as you use your phone while walking.

Note that the Heads Up feature will require permissions for your physical activity to detect when you're moving. It also asks for location permission, but that's optional.

As of now, the feature is only being rolled out on Google Pixel devices. Whether it will arrive on other Android smartphones is yet to be seen, as there's no official word on it from the company.


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