You can now try out an important new feature from Android Q by installing a new app. ActionDash, an app that more or less fits the digital wellbeing functions of Google have been updated to add a "focus mode" that works exactly like the focus mode that will be built into the next version of Android.
When you activate the focus mode, your phone blocks your apps that you have marked as disruptive. So when you open Instagram or your email, a message appears stating that you have been excluded.
The Focus mode is not meant to be a particularly serious way to limit users' use of telephone conversations, but it is more a push to prevent you from scrolling casually through one or the other social media feed. Just like with Android Q, you activate the focus mode by simply tapping a tile in the quick settings panel. If you tap it again, the feature will be disabled, so there is nothing to stop you from getting through the system, just a small hurdle to using selected apps.
ActionDash was launched in January with the promise to introduce Digital Wellbeing features on all Android phones. Unlike the features of Google – which are available for a limited number of phones and only those with Android Pie or the Q beta – ActionDash works on any Android phone with Lollipop or later (which should be most phones at the moment considering it fact that it is five years old).
(The focus mode of Android Q is shown around 6.30 in the video.)
This latest version of ActionDash version 3.0 adds another important digital well-being function that was missing in earlier releases: limits for app use. You can now set how long you want to use an app every day and then close yourself when you reach that limit.
At the launch, ActionDash primarily replicated Digital Wellbeing's data functions, so you can see how long you have used all your apps daily or weekly. It is useful information, but it is much more convenient if it is combined with controls that allow you to set limits for your use. Now that ActionDash has it, it seems that it has overtaken all the important functions of Google.
The app is available for free, but offers a $ 7 upgrade for more features, including a dark mode, a longer usage history and more adjustments.
ActionDash comes from the developer of Action Launcher, which replicates many of the features found on Google's standard Android home screen, but with more custom customization options.