OnePlus just released a new active wallpaper app meant to help users visualize how they’re meeting their digital wellness goals. WellPaper — which is available now for any Android devices running Android 7.0 or newer — creates a wallpaper for your device that changes throughout the day to remind you of your screen time, amongst other wellness markers (h/t 9to5Google).
Digital wellness is one of the most intriguing sectors of technological innovation because it often seeks to help us understand when we should stop using technology — where most of Big Tech attempts to do exactly the opposite. Google has been a frontrunner in this expansion as of late; the company has released quite a few apps and features designed to help you put your phone down.
WellPaper is a welcome addition to Android’s now quite-full lineup of wellness apps. Unlike other digital wellness initiatives (we’re looking at you, Apple), the wallpapers created by the app are meant to be ambient. They feel more like a kind reminder than an in-your-face notification.
New ways to visualize your addiction — WellPaper includes three wallpaper choices at launch: Composition, Glow, and Radial. Each dynamic wallpaper varies in aesthetics and complexity.
“Composition” is a Mondrian-inspired multicolored tile background where each tile represents a category of apps; the tiles grow larger when you’ve spent more time in that category. “Radial is the most ambient of the three, with soft colors — again, each assigned an app category — that move and change as your screen time evolves. “Glow” is a series of rings which, you guessed it, represent the amount of time you’ve spent in each category that day.
OnePlus says it’s made all three wallpapers are battery-efficient by only allowing them to update each time your phone is unlocked, rather than running updates in the background at all times.
The importance of disconnecting — As smart devices become increasingly ubiquitous, the companies that create those devices are being forced to reckon with the unintended side effects of their omnipresence. Even apps like TikTok — which makes money by getting users to spend time on the platform — have had to learn to cope with this reality by implementing new features to encourage users to switch off now and then.
OnePlus has also created a full digital wellbeing hub on its website. Apple, if you’re reading this, we hope you’re taking notes.