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Android's fight against distracted walking extends to non-Pixel phones

You'll hopefully walk into fewer lamp posts.

Published onJuly 19, 2021

  • Google is rolling out its Heads Up feature to non-Pixel Android phones.
  • The feature helps fight distracted walking by reminding you to stop using your phone on the move.
  • You’ll find it in the latest version of the Digital Wellbeing app.

You no longer need a Pixel phone to enlist Google’s help in the fight against distracted walking. XDA notes that Google has started deploying its Heads Up feature to third-party Android phones through an updated Digital Wellbeing app.

Enable the feature through the Reduce Interruptions section and your phone will (hopefully) curb distracted walking by reminding you to stop phone use while you’re on foot. Google stresses that this isn’t a substitute for paying attention — it may just catch you in a moment of weakness.

Related: Digital wellbeing: How to form a better relationship with your phone

It’s not certain just how widespread the rollout is at this stage. However, XDA observed that several of its phones had Heads Up, including an ASUS Zenfone 8 and a OnePlus Nord N200. There’s a real chance your handset can already use the distracted walking prevention tool.

The upgrade took a while to arrive given that Pixel phones first had the option in April. Still, it might be welcome. Now that it’s safer to go outside, distracted walking is on the rise. This might stop you from colliding with a lamp post (or otherwise embarrassing yourself) while you’re glued to your screen.

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