Controlling the daily habit of your phone is important. That’s what the self-help books and motivational speakers say, at least. And they’re right, of course, if we ignore the fact that they want to make money off you by saying that. But is the full control really possible? Especially in today’s world, where your whole life mostly runs through your smartphone.
That’s a complex debate for people way more competent than I am. So I’m not going to open it and risk saying something I might regret. Instead, I’ll go fully technical (like I always do here at Mobile Internist), and show you how to check the screen time on your smartphone running Android 9 Pie. Because that’s why you’re here in the first place, right?
As you probably already know, there are two ways of doing anything on an Android phone. You can use built-in tools, or you can search for help from third-party apps. And controlling the screen time is not an exemption.
Use Digital Wellbeing
If you’re using a Pixel device or a device that’s operation Android One, you can check the usage time with Digital Wellbeing. As its name says, this feature is designed to help you use your phone more responsibility and prevent distractions.
Digital Wellbeing is simple in design. It shows app usage by time, as well as the number of unlocking and notifications. There are also other features, like scheduling the Do Not Disturb mode and the Wind Down feature, which applies Greyscale to your screen to ease looking at the screen at night.
To access Digital Wellbeing, simply go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing. You can also show its icon in the app drawer.
But if your device doesn’t support Digital Wellbeing, try the alternatives listed below.
Check screen time through Power Usage
If you don’t want to install any third-party apps that will let you tell your screen time, your phone’s power status got you covered. Of course, it shows battery convention and time on battery, which can be translated into screen time.
Here’s how to check screen time Power Usage:
- Go to Settings > Battery.
- Tap the 3-dot menu, and go to Battery usage.
- Tap the 3 dot menu again, and choose Show full device usage.
As you can see, the power graph and status show closely for how much time your screen has been active.
The instructions above are for stock Android or Android One. The steps may vary on non-stock ROMs. But the principle stays the same, as all you have to do is look for the battery usage.
The noticeable drawback of this method is that it only shows screen time since the last charge. So, you cannot sort the stats by days, hours or weeks. If you want to keep the way of your daily screen time, you’ll have to install a third-party app. And that’s where Usage Time comes into play.
Install Usage Time
If the ‘stock way’ doesn’t provide enough info for you, you can always go with a third-party app. There are a couple of options in the Play Store, but I recommend convention Time (not sponsored by), because of its simplicity.
The app just gives you what you want to know, without any unnecessary features and distractions. It just shows time exhausted with the screen on for the current day, divided between used apps.
There’s also a graph of the usage time, so you can easily keep the record of the phone use for the past week.