Digital Wellbeing wants to add cough and snore detection to your smartphone

You might not need a second-gen Nest Hub after all

One of the biggest features Google has added in recent years is Digital Wellbeing. It was introduced with Android 9 Pie and has become an essential tool for anyone who wants to reduce unhealthy smartphone usage. It’s something that’s increasingly becoming an issue with TikTok and Instagram doomscrolling, so it’s good that the tools for it exist. But the feature now wants to expand your health tracking more narrowly than that, adding cough and snore detection while you sleep.


In May, we reported evidence that Google was working to add cough and snore detection to Android, but new evidence has just been uncovered by 9to5Google via an APK teardown of the Digital Wellbeing app. The latest beta shows that Google has started working to add ‘cough and snore detection’ to the app as part of ‘bedtime mode’. It would use your device’s microphone to listen to the sounds you make while you sleep and check how much you snore or cough while you sleep.

Digital Wellbeing will work in tandem with Google Clock’s existing sleep tracking features for this. The app can already track how long you sleep, using your phone’s gyroscope and ambient light sensor to see if your phone actually stays still all night.

This is already a common feature on smartwatches. My Galaxy Watch 4, for one, helped me realize that I snore a lot – I thought I hadn’t for years. But many people don’t have smartwatches. They also probably don’t have the second-gen Nest Hub which also has a number of advanced sleep tracking features. And frankly, if snoring/coughing can be detected with a mic, why not just let your phone do the grunt work? It might even help catch issues you haven’t noticed if there are any that need attention.

As with any development like this, it only provides a preview of what might be coming down the pipeline. But we’re pretty confident that we can expect cough and snore tracking to become a digital wellbeing feature soon enough.