Google’s new Heads Up characteristic is a Digital Wellbeing device that may cease you from strolling into gentle poles and different pedestrians. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

We have all seen a hilarious video of somebody strolling down the road and proper into a lightweight pole whereas watching their cellphone. Or perhaps it wasn’t a video and the particular person was you. Google needs that can assist you keep away from being the star within the subsequent episode of America’s Funniest Residence Movies — or avoiding close to misses with vehicles, bikes and different pedestrians — with a brand new characteristic known as Heads Up, rolling out now to its Digital Wellbeing Android app. 

After turning on Heads Up, your cellphone will periodically show an alert that reminds you to maintain your head up when it detects you are strolling and utilizing your cellphone on the similar time. 

Heads Up is at the moment rolling out to Pixel telephones, as noticed by XDA Builders on Monday. After checking just a few completely different Android telephones on my desk, I solely see it on Pixel telephones as nicely. Google typically makes use of its personal Pixel line as a check mattress earlier than sharing options extra broadly with different Android telephones, so even when you do not have Heads Up now, listen, since you may see it quickly. (I’ve reached out to Google to make clear which units will fold within the information Heads Up characteristic.) This is the way it works.


Do not run into something you should not the subsequent time you are utilizing your cellphone whereas strolling. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Learn how to arrange Heads As much as hold from being oblivious

Open the Settings app in your cellphone then scroll till you find the Digital Wellbeing & parental controls possibility; faucet it. Scroll to the underside of the assorted settings the place it’s best to spot a brand new Heads Up possibility, simply above the toggle change so as to add an app icon for Digital Wellbeing to your app drawer. Choose Heads Up and observe the setup prompts. 

You may must grant Digital Wellbeing permission to view your bodily exercise so it may establish once you’re strolling. Optionally, you may give the app permission to view your present location always. Doing so will permit it to establish once you’re inside — it is unclear if meaning it’s going to be roughly proactive about reminding you to lookup, however let’s hope for the previous. 

With Heads Up enabled, you’ll obtain an alert everytime you use your cellphone and it detects you are strolling round. I spent a superb 20 minutes strolling round my home scrolling by way of Reddit and Twitter, together with sending emails and textual content messages and did not set off the alert. My solely guess is that Google assumes I do know my home nicely sufficient to not run right into a wall whereas strolling round. My take? Google does not know me that nicely. 


It solely takes just a few faucets to configure Heads Up. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Be part of the Digital Wellbeing beta

When you’ve got a Pixel and do not see the Heads Up characteristic fairly but, you’ll be able to be part of the Digital Wellbeing beta program, which ought to set off the brand new characteristic in your cellphone. Be part of the beta by visiting the app’s Play Retailer itemizing and putting in it. 

You possibly can all the time go away the beta at any time by visiting the identical Play Retailer web page and eradicating your self from it, however I’ve all the time joined any beta that Google has for its Android apps and have not run into any main points, with the added bonus of getting to take a look at options earlier than they’re broadly rolled out. 

If you happen to’re inquisitive about what else you need to use Digital Wellbeing for, learn extra about it right here. Try the entire hidden options each Android cellphone has, too. Lastly, Android 12 is coming later this yr and we’re already tracked down new options that you will love utilizing.

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