Google unveils Heads Up for Pixel phones — we can no longer be trusted to walk

Google Pixel heads up digital wellbeing
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google has a new feature for Pixel phones in the latest Digital Wellbeing beta. Aptly named "Heads Up," this will remind you to look up from your phone while you're out walking, hopefully ensuring that you avoid some accident.

Heads Up is rolling out now to Digital Wellbeing beta users. If you pay attention to finer details that go in the Android world, you might remember hearing about this back in November when XDA Developers (via Android Central) uncovered it. However, Google took its time to make sure that this feature worked properly.

The reminder notification will pop up to tell you to pay attention to your surroundings, though Google notes that Heads Up is not a replacement for actually being aware of what’s around you. While it has practical benefits in keeping you from bumping into other people or objects, it could also save your life if you’re crossing the street.

If you own a Pixel and you’re on the Digital Wellbeing beta, you can access Heads Up from the Reduce Interruptions section in the app settings. Once enabled, you’ll have access to some of the permissions the feature needs, like location and physical activity.

To join the beta, simply head to the app’s listing in the Play Store, scroll down, and tap the join beta button. You’ll be enrolled and it’ll take a few minutes for the store to send you the beta update file. You'll be asked to update Digital Wellbeing and you should be good to go from there.

Again, this is limited to Pixels for now, but we’re sure that it’ll roll out to the best Android phones soon. For now, we trust that you can pay attention to your surroundings on your own. We all ought to be more aware of what's around us while we mindlessly walk while using a smartphone.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.