I have been playing with HMD Global’s Nokia 7 Plus that launched in the Kenyan market a couple of months ago. It is an excellent device, and after a review piece that was primarily handled by my colleague, we moved on to other devices for the same exercise, until up to less than two months ago when the 7 Plus received an official update for Android 9 Pie. Technically, this is the first device that sells locally with the latest and greatest Android version, and for the most part, the handheld has managed to cement its stand in the midrange department that is fiercely contested by tens of handhelds from other manufacturers.
Generally speaking, the 7 Plus, which is under the Android One umbrella (this means the software is untouched, is lean on resources, hence receives updates in a timely manner), edges over the competition by the mere fact that its software experience is just superior. What’s more, the UI highlights, software features and changes, which I plan to extensively talk about before the end of the month, are admirable, although it lacks on customization options that OEM skins are known for.
Some of the highly lauded Android 9 Pie features is dubbed Digital Wellbeing. On the whole, the app/feature tracks and manages time users spend inside apps and settings, the number of notifications received and presents the results in a pie chart. The goal of this feature is to enhance productivity outside your phone. A user can set the amount of time he/she should spend in certain apps, and when that period elapses, they are ousted out. Also, the app(s) is greyed out until the next session.
However, Digital Wellbeing is only restricted to Google’s Pixel phones and Android One smartphones – all of which must be running Pie. In fact, up to today, the app was in beta and could not even be found in the Play Store for the Nokia 7 Plus unless sideloaded from unknown (but safe) sources. After installing the beta version, the feature popped up in Settings and stuck there after factory resetting the device.
Now, current Nokia 7 Plus users running Pie can now access it from the Play Store.
The Digital Wellbeing update means the feature is now out of beta and will be available for a range of devices running Android One devices, and HMD Global manufactures quite a number.
I will be diving into the feature’s details, as well as a series of Pie goodies that I’ll deem useful for the masses.