Top 6 Google Pixel Tips and Tricks

Notification light

You may have realized, or you may have not, but the Google Pixel phone has an LED notification light. Google doesn’t make it easy to find though. It’s hidden behind the Settings > Device > Notifications menu. Use the toggle to activate it and it will then pulsate depending on the different applications. Also, you can use an app like Light Flow (lite), if gives you the flexibility to customize the colors for apps manually.


App suggestions

One part of the ‘Pixel Launcher’ is that Google implemented an ‘app suggestions’ feature in their app drawer. This might be annoying for some users, and you are able to turn this off in settings. First, you need to hold down the home screen and select the launcher settings. Then just toggle ‘App suggestions’ off, personally, I don’t like them, so I have turned them off.


Adjust icon/ screen size

In Settings > Display there’s a new option to adjust the size of onscreen content and icons. Simply select the Display size option and move the slider until the icons are the size you want them to be.


Gestures (Moves)

Open Camera
This feature isn’t entirely new, but when switched on, you can double-click the power/sleep button from any screen and launch the camera app.

Twist to flip cameras
Fans of taking selfies will want to enable the ‘Flip camera’ shortcut. When using the rear camera a quick double twist of the wrist will switch in and out of selfie mode.

Swipe for notifications
This allows you to use the rear-mounted fingerprint reader to dip in and out of the notification shade and view any new alerts. Swiping up and down scrolls the view. Switch this on and we guarantee you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Recently, during a monthly security patch update. Google included a double-tap notification feature where it displays a black and white version of your time and notifications. The other feature is where you lift your phone to activate this ‘ambient display’ too.


Night light/Night Mode

When reading your phone in the evening, the last thing you want is harsh, blue light from your phone screen glaring into your eyes. Google have added a blue light filter to tackle this issue. To turn on Night Light, giving it a more yellow/warm tone, go to Settings > Display and choose the Night Light. You can also schedule the blue light filter (or Night Mode) in settings. Simply go to Settings > Display > Might Light > ‘turn on automatically. You can also select the times you want it on and off, or you can set it to change by sunrise and sunset times.


On-body detection

The ‘Smart Lock’ settings can be found by navigating through the Settings > Security > Smart Lock. From there it’s a case of enabling the mode of your choosing, from face recognition to trusted places. The phone can be unlocked just taking it out of your pocket and swiping up due to your location.


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Sachin Mistry
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Sachin Mistry

Sachin is an Editor at Bane Tech, where he loves exploring the latest in the Android/Google universe. When he's not buried in words, Sachin is a student at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK studying his first passion which is training to become a culinary arts Chef.