New Android feature will warn users to stop using their phones while walking

midian182

Posts: 6,790   +61
Staff member
In brief: Are you one of those people who become so engrossed with a phone while walking around, you forget to look up? It’s a practice many of us are guilty of. Luckily, Google’s “Head’s Up” mode for its Digital Wellbeing service reminds users to pay attention to their surroundings.

The folks at XDA Developers spotted the feature in a teardown of the Digital Wellbeing app back in September. A beta version now appears to be rolling out, with Twitter user @jay__kamat receiving it on his Pixel 4A handset.

Once you enable Heads Up—found inside the ‘Reduce Interruptions’ section of the Digital Wellbeing app—and allow location (optional) and physical activity permissions, you'll be warned whenever movement is detected while the screen is active. Alerts include “Be careful” and “Look ahead,” though Google does note: “Use with caution. Heads Up doesn’t replace paying attention.”

9To5Google reports that the feature has appeared in both the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 within the Digital Wellbeing beta build.

Using a phone while walking has become a problem in many countries, leading to increased collisions between pedestrians and vehicles. In 2016, we heard about a German city introducing embedded sidewalk traffic lights so phone users don’t have to look up from their screens. Locations in Australia and Holland tried the same experiment. The best solution, of course, is not to walk around using a handset.

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p51d007

Posts: 2,731   +2,056
Pretty sad, when it comes to this! I remember reading a couple years ago, some city in Europe was going to put red/green crosswalk signals ON THE SIDEWALKS because so many people are looking DOWN at their stupid phones instead of paying attention. And, people wonder why so many people are mugged in broad daylight?
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 371   +474
Pretty sad, when it comes to this! I remember reading a couple years ago, some city in Europe was going to put red/green crosswalk signals ON THE SIDEWALKS because so many people are looking DOWN at their stupid phones instead of paying attention. And, people wonder why so many people are mugged in broad daylight?
So, sidewalk traffic lights causes robberies? I don't get the connection there? 🤨
 

Chemicalfacist

Posts: 40   +33
I mean really, which would it be called Survival of the Fittest, Natural Selection, or Darwin Award nomination process? Let it be.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 731   +623
Mostly support this, but what if I'm using GPS to navigate on foot, hopefully no nags if it detects maps is running.
 

Aus spot

Posts: 107   +85
Don't think this lights in the pavement ever caught on in Australia. Big waste of money.

Puts on right wing hat: I don't want no electronic device telling me what I have to do. I want the freedom to walk into a road without looking. Let god sort them out.

Other reader: Wow dude it's only optional

RW: they tell you that now, but the government will make it mandatory in the future.