walking warning

It’s no secret that smartphones can be distracting. We typically talk about this for driving, but that’s not the only case. Walking around with your head buried in your phone can be dangerous, too. Android phones can help with this.

The “Heads Up” feature is available through Android’s “Digital Wellbeing” suite of tools. At the time of writing, it’s available for Google Pixel phones, although it should eventually roll out to more devices. Join the beta from the Google Play Store to get it as soon as possible.

RELATED: Android's "Heads Up" Feature Will Remind You Not to Walk and Text

To enable the feature, open the Settings menu by swiping down from the top of the screen (once or twice, depending on your device) and tapping the gear icon.

open the device settings

Next, select “Digital Wellbeing & Parental Controls” from the Settings.

select digital wellbeing

You may see an introductory splash screen with information about the feature. Click “Next” if you do.

tap next from intro screen

If the splash screen doesn’t appear automatically, tap “Heads Up” from the Digital Wellbeing settings, and then select the “Next” button.

select Heads Up

Next, you’ll be asked to give two permissions. “Physical Activity” is used to detect when you’re walking and it’s required. “Location” can be used to determine when you’re outside, but it’s optional.

If you choose to give location permission, a pop-up will appear, and you’ll need to select “While Using the App,” and then “Allow All the Time.”

give location permission

Tap “Next” when all the permissions have been granted.

tap next to finish

The next screen will say “Heads Up is Ready to Go.” You can tap “Done,” and the feature will be enabled. Next time your phone screen is on for a little too long while you’re walking, you may see a notification like this:

heads up notification
Jay Prakash Kamat

That’s it! Hopefully, with this handy little feature, you’ll be more observant when walking around with your phone.

RELATED: How to Join a Beta and Download Early Versions of Android Apps

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
Read Full Bio »