It’s hidden and can be enabled with root, but it doesn’t stick
Before going to sleep, it can be really tempting to do some last-minute Internet browsing using your smartphone. It’s a bad habit that a lot of people engage in, and so both Google and Apple have introduced features this year to help you curb your smartphone addiction. At Google I/O 2018, Google unveiled Digital Wellbeing: a set of features to reduce the amount of time you spend on your phone. Digital Wellbeing has a Dashboard to show you just how long you spend on apps like Reddit, an App Timer to limit how long you spend in your favorite app, and Wind Down mode so you’ll actually put your phone down at night. Digital Wellbeing went live in beta form for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL with the official release of Android Pie, but one of the features teased during Google I/O didn’t make it in: the ability to enable Do Not Disturb mode by flipping your phone over.
What’s Already Present in Digital Wellbeing
As a recap, here are all of the features that are currently in Digital Wellbeing for the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL:
- An overview of your app usage with how long you’ve spent in each app.
- A counter for the number of times you’ve unlocked your device.
- A counter for the total number of notifications you’ve received.
- An app timer to limit your usage in selected apps.
- Wind Down mode to schedule times when the phone should enter Do Not Disturb mode, turn on Night Light, and fade to grayscale.
- Quick access to notification and Do Not Disturb mode settings.
- Launcher shortcut and grayscale Quick Setting tile.
Digital Wellbeing is officially available for the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2, and Google Pixel 2 XL. HMD Global has stated that the Nokia 7 Plus will receive support “from Autumn 2018,” and although there are reports of a few users getting the feature (via NokiaPowerUser), we can’t confirm if the feature has actually rolled out yet for Nokia 7 Plus users on Android Pie. The feature can also be enabled on any Android Pie device using a Magisk Module such as the one linked at the bottom of this earlier article.
What’s Coming to Digital Wellbeing
As we mentioned before, Google already announced that a flip to enable Do Not Disturb mode feature would be coming to Digital Wellbeing. We don’t know when it’ll launch—possibly with or sometime after the Google Pixel 3 event—but we do know that the feature is already accessible within the latest version if you have root access. We managed to activate the feature manually (with a small amount of help from XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899) on a Google Pixel 2 XL and Essential Phone running Android 9 Pie. Once the feature goes live, there will be a new setting in System –> Gestures called “Flip to Shhh,” as shown in the screenshots below.
The feature works exactly as stated. Flipping my Pixel 2 XL over on a flat surface immediately enables Do Not Disturb mode while picking it back up disables it. Since the feature seems to work already, we’re not sure why it hasn’t been enabled for users just yet. Hopefully, it’ll be enabled for all users in a few days.
How I Enabled Flip to Shhh
Being bored and having a couple of minutes of free time, I dug around the Digital Wellbeing APK using PNF Software’s JEB Decompiler to see if there was a way to enable this feature. Fortunately, it was quite easy to enable—though unless you modify the APK to hardcode the value, it’ll reset on its own after some time. Anyway, here are the steps you need to add Flip to Shhh in gesture settings and to enable it, at least temporarily. This won’t work on the OnePlus 6 because OxygenOS is too heavily modified, and so the Flip to Shhh menu won’t show up.
- Download the latest version of Digital Wellbeing.
- Enter the following shell commands:
su pm enable "com.google.android.apps.wellbeing/com.google.android.apps.wellbeing.autodnd.ui.AutoDndGesturesSettingsActivity"
- Flip to Shhh will now appear in the Gesture settings, but it can’t be enabled yet.
- Download this file from AndroidFileHost I made called “
PhenotypePrefs.xml” and push it to
/data/data/com.google.android.apps.wellbeing/shared_prefs. Give it +660 permissions. I used MiXplorer for this, but you can use any root-enabled file explorer such as Solid Explorer or FX File Explorer
- Reboot your device.
- After rebooting, you might not be able to immediately enable Flip to Shhh. If that happens, wait a minute or just reboot again.
Hopefully, you should be able to enable it. I don’t know why you would want to since it doesn’t get permanently enabled this way, but it’s cool to see nonetheless. When I enabled it on my Google Pixel 2 XL, it stayed on for 8 hours until I rebooted my device. For Max Weinbach, it reset within an hour after he enabled it on his Essential Phone. Your mileage may vary.
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