Google has jumped into the smartphone market with its much awaited Pixel phones, and it did it in style. Though the phones are pricey considering it is first from the company, it did not give us any chance to complain. Running on the latest Android 7.1 Nougat, it comes packed with some new and interesting features.
I have been using the Pixel XL since the day of its release, and I am pretty happy with the phone’s performance and software. Here I have compiled some of the most useful tricks I learnt so far.
This is the most common and interesting one. We all have seen Google Assistant working amazingly on Google Allo app. The specialty about Pixel phones is that the Assistant is built in the home key. You can simply call Ok Google or tap and hold the home button.
Using the Assistant, you can ask literally anything and Google will respond. On a scale of 1 to 10, if Siri works 6 out of 10 then the Google assistant is 9 in terms of accuracy and response time. Some things you can ask Google Assistant are:
- To remind anything
- Set alarms
- About weather
- About news in your area or anywhere around the world
- Ask for jokes, poems, play games and even ask personal questions
- Find routes, restaurants and shops
Enable notification LED
If you have just started using your Pixel, then you might not be aware of this feature. It was turned off by default. Once enabled, the pulse light will start blinking once you have received any notification.
To enable this, Go to settings > Notifications > Tap on the settings icon on top right > Enable Pulse notification light.
Night light is a feature that changes the color of the display light from white to a bit yellowish to reduce harm on your eyes. It basically acts as a blue light filter which is advised by many in low light. It eases reading and also helps you sleep better. I know it’s not something new but in this case, you can schedule it.
To enable Night Light, go to Settings > Display > Night Light. You can schedule it in the same menu, and also select automatic mode, where it enables when the sun sets and disables with sunrise.
Enable ambient display
This option is very similar to what we have seen on Motorola phones, or many other phones with AMOLED panel. Once you enable this, some pixels on the lock screen will light up whenever you receive a notification. It will give a peek to your unseen notifications and also the time and date.
To enable this go to Settings> Display > Enable Ambient display.
Quick app functions
This feature is one of the most uncommon features we have seen on any Android phone. It basically allows you to reach to the options inside the app without even opening it. This feature is currently limited only to Google apps, but third party apps will also be using this feature in coming time. It is quite similar to what we have seen on Apple iPhone 6s and 7 using the force touch.
To use this, tap and hold on an icon until you feel a vibration. Options will pop up, see the image above.
Change display size
This option allows you to adjust the overall impression of the content on the screen. You can change the display size to big and small according to your convenience. The size of the icons and text can be adjusted using this option.
Go to settings > Display > Display Size.
One of the most underrated and ignored feature on this phone is the multi-window platform for multi-tasking. To use the split window mode and use two apps at once, tap the recent button (right most button out of the 3 navigation buttons) and then again tap and hold the button until you feel a vibration. To exit the multi-window mode, you have to repeat the same process.
Google Pixel is a no nonsense phone with bunch of smart feature. Among all these smart features, there are three gestures that further enhance the ease of use. While you scroll through the settings menu, you will find an option ‘Moves’. Under this option, you will find three different gesture controls:
Swipe for notifications- To check your notifications, swipe down on the fingerprint sensor on the back of your phone.
Jump to camera- You can reach directly to camera app by double tapping the power button. It works from any screen.
Flip camera- To switch in and out of the selfie mode in Google camera, double-twist the wrist when the camera is open.
Disable individual sound alerts
If you are annoyed with some sound effects and cannot turn off due to some reason, Pixel offers you an option to enable or disable each alert. You can enable or disable the following sounds individually:
- Dial pad tones
- Screen locking sounds
- Charging sound
- Touch sounds
- Vibrate on tap
- Power on sounds
To control he sound settings of the following alerts, Go to settings > Sound > other sounds.
The Pixel launcher allows you to merge more than one application in a single folder. This is very simple; you just have to drag and place the icon over other icon and drop it. This will place both the icons in the same folder. Moreover, you can also name the folders according to your convenience.