Believe it or not, you are probably addicted to your smartphone!!! In fact, there’s a high chance that your smartphone is currently in your hand or at least in a 1-meter radius! You might even be browsing Facebook or chatting with someone on WhatsApp while reading this article! This smartphone addiction has become so much that a “digital detox” is now a necessity.
And that’s where Google’s Latest Phone comes in! This phone is not a Smart Phone. It can’t access Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp and all those other apps that are so important. It can’t even make calls. In fact, it’s a Paper Phone! Yes, you heard that right. Google’s new Paper Phone launched in October 2019 is a part of the Digital Wellbeing Experiments that are aimed at providing people a better balance between real-life and technology.
So the Paper Phone is actually a personal paper booklet that can hold all the information you might need in a day. Ironically enough, you need an Android app to choose all the information things you might want offline, like important phone numbers, maps, weather reports, calendars, etc. And then the app can arrange this information on both sides of an A4 sheet in the form of a booklet that will be your “Paper Phone” for the day. All you need to do is print this booklet and you are good to go! This experiment by Google just confirms the truth that while you might WANT your smartphone all day long, you certainly don’t NEED it all the time and you can manage just fine using a paper phone with important information.
And in case you want more than just important information, the Paper Phone can handle that as well! There is a section called ” Paper Apps” on the phone which has all sorts of interesting things on the paper pages like a Sudoku puzzle on one page, cake recipes on another page or even any important screenshots you need from your smartphone. There is even a space for holding your card so that you can use the Paper Phone to make payments as well. You can also add your own notes in the Paper Phone if you want as there is a special place for that as well.
The Paper Phone is only one part of Google’s experiments to find a balance between life and technology. And while this is a more extreme experiment that requires you to leave your smartphone totally for a day, there are other easier experiments that you can try. Let’s see some of them:
1. Unlock Clock: Want to know how many times you use your phone in a day? Unlock Clock helps you in that by counting the number of times you unlock your phone and then displaying that number as your wallpaper. So hopefully, when you open your phone for the 100th time in a day, you will realize its too much and reduce your smartphone usage a little!
2. Post Box: Do you rush to check your phone every time a notification pops up? Is that distracting you while finishing important work? You can use Post Box and that will hold all your notifications until you want to see them all at the same time. This will reduce your distractions and also make sure you don’t unlock your phone every 30 seconds!
3. We Flip: Want to spend some quality time with your friends and family but your phone keeps distracting you? We Flip can help you switch off from technology as a group so that you can enjoy each other’s company. Just flip the switch together to shut all the phones in your group while chatting and if anyone flips on their switch again then the phone off session is over.
4. Desert Island: If you are stuck on a deserted island, what important things would you like to have? Just like this scenario, Desert Island makes sure that you can only have important apps running on your phone while the rest are disabled for a day. Try this experiment to improve your focus on important things and also reduce your smartphone distractions!
5. Morph: You need different apps while you are at home, working or on a holiday. So Morph makes sure that you can only use the apps that are required for what you are currently doing. If you are at work, you will be able to use Gmail but not Instagram and so on. This will ensure that you are focusing on what you are supposed to at any given time because your phone will not allow you to access anything else!