Android 15 may bring bedtime routines to third-party apps

Android 15 AM AH 07

For many of us, our smartphones are double-edged swords. They keep us connected, informed, and entertained. But they can also be a significant source of distraction, impacting our sleep, productivity, and mental well-being. Recognizing this struggle, Google introduced Digital Wellbeing to Android devices in 2019. It’s a suite of tools designed to help users develop healthier phone habits. Now, with the upcoming release of Android 15, Google is taking Digital Wellbeing’s bedtime routines and other features a step further by opening it up to third-party app developers.

A cornerstone of Digital Wellbeing is bedtime mode, a feature that helps users wind down before sleep. Traditionally, bedtime mode has offered functions like Do Not Disturb scheduling and basic screen adjustments to minimize blue light exposure. These adjustments include turning the screen grayscale, enabling dark mode, and dimming the wallpaper.

Previously, only Google’s Digital Wellbeing app could control these screen settings. Thankfully, Android 15 introduces the ZenDeviceEffects API, a new public API that grants third-party developers access to these same functionalities. This paves the way for Android 15 to bring far more customizable bedtime routines to more devices.

Imagine a world where your bedtime routine isn’t restricted to a time schedule. With the ZenDeviceEffects API, developers could create routines triggered by environmental cues. Perhaps tapping an NFC tag near your bedside table could initiate your wind-down process, automatically enabling dark mode, turning off the always-on display, and dimming the wallpaper.

There’s a universe of possibilities beyond bedtime mode

The potential applications of the ZenDeviceEffects API extend far beyond bedtime routines. A cinephile app could leverage the API to create a “Movie Mode” that automatically activates Do Not Disturb, dark mode, and grayscale upon entering a theater. This not only ensures your phone won’t disrupt the movie for you or others, but the muted color scheme can also prevent accidental screen brightness flashes.

This kind of creative app integration can extend to various scenarios. Think of a fitness app that automatically silences your phone and adjusts the screen settings during a workout, or a meditation app that creates a calming ambiance by adjusting the screen and enabling focus mode features.

A more diverse Digital Wellbeing ecosystem

The integration of bedtime mode into third-party apps isn’t just about creating more Digital Wellbeing features; it’s about fostering a more diverse app ecosystem focused on digital wellness. Before Android 15, users were tethered to Google’s Digital Wellbeing app for features like bedtime routines and focus mode. With this change, users will have more choice and flexibility, allowing them to select apps that cater to their specific needs and preferences.

This fosters healthy competition among Android app developers, pushing them to innovate and create even more effective digital wellness tools. As someone who constantly tries new meditation apps, I’m particularly excited about the prospect of these apps offering integrated focus mode features that complement their core functionalities.

Android 15 Bedtime Routines (1)
Android 15 Bedtime Routines (2)
Android 15 Bedtime Routines (3)

Android 15 Bedtime Routines (1)
Android 15 Bedtime Routines (2)
Android 15 Bedtime Routines (3)

Image Credit: Android Authority

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