There was a period when Google knew they were switching to gesture navigation, but felt users weren't quite ready for it. The result was Android 9's two-button nav bar that you could both tap and swipe. Android 10 has since brought full-on gestures, and that's the version the Pixel 4 shipped with, so it never had that quirky, fun two-button setup. But you can bring it back, so to speak.
It took a while, but the premiere custom recovery for Android is now available for Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, so it's finally open season on root mods.
For Android 11, Google is doubling down on the handy App Suggestions feature that debuted in Android 10's app drawer by expanding it to the home screen dock.
Prompt and frequent system updates are a big part of the Pixel's identity — we're even getting quarterly feature drops now. But not all devices receive these all-important updates at the same time because of Google's staged rollout system. If you want the update right away, there's a way to manually check without having to dig around in Settings every time.
If you're using Samsung's default keyboard on a Galaxy or Gboard on any Android phone, here's a cool trick you should know about.
If your phone has an A/B partition layout, there are two virtual hard drives that each contain a copy of Android. After every restart, it picks a partition to boot from, then the other lays idle. The idle partition can be overwritten with a new copy of the OS and it won't affect the active one. So the next time you reboot, it just switches partitions and it's as if you updated instantly.
Not every app is designed well. With nearly 3 million apps on the Play Store and countless more that you can sideload from other sources, there are bound to be a few stinkers. And many of them do a terrible job using RAM.
After adding and removing a screen recorder feature in Android 10, Google finally adopted a proper version in Android 11. Unlike the buggy and incomplete function last year, this one looks like a final product. And best of all, it is no longer hidden.
Developer Options is your first step to becoming a power user. If the Pixel 4a feels a bit slow, Developer Options can fix that. You want to root your device for unprecedented controls and powerful apps? You need to enable OEM unlocking in this hidden menu. ADB, secret features — Developer Options is where it all originates.
Waking up to buzzing alarm clock is so 20th century. Wouldn't it better if the first sound you heard in the morning was your favorite song? Whether it's a track to get you motivated or something to put a smile on your face, a song can do wonders for your mood and help you start the day right.
It feels like every few months, some new feature is discovered in the Pixel's Camera app. By taking advantage of machine learning and the high-quality camera, Google continues to add hidden functions that improve your life even if they're a little niche.
At $349, you won't find many smartphones that provide a better deal than the Google Pixel 4a. It has flagship-level performance, a headphone jack, and one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, all for less than $400. But if you act now, you can save even more.
On Android, there is a vulnerability that Google doesn't seem to want to fix — anyone can open the Quick Settings panel on your lock screen. GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, all toggles accessible in this menu, are vital tools for locating your phone in case it is ever stolen. But thanks to Xposed, you can eliminate this potential risk.
For Android smartphones, the latest craze is high refresh rate displays, and many popular flagships have them. But until now, there has been no way to confirm it is, in fact, running at higher hertz besides a menu option. Android 11 changes this.
It's nice having a dark theme on Android 10 and One UI 2, but setting it on a schedule takes it a step further. Imagine the light theme turning on every morning, and the dark theme taking over after sunset — all automatically. It sounds pretty simple, but it's one of those things you wouldn't know you need until you try it.
For the Pixel 4's face unlock feature to work in the dark, Google had to add a front-facing IR camera. If you download a specific app, you can actually see a live feed from this camera. It's true night vision for your phone, and it's completely free.
It wasn't too long ago that the power menu for stock Android didn't offer much beyond turning the device off, but Google has steadily added more functions, like capturing screenshots and provisioning access to emergency information.
Even with Pixels now coming with 128 GB of internal storage, many folks still struggle with low storage. The culprit is usually photos and videos, which can quickly eat away the space. Thankfully, there's a feature that solves this problem.
If you've ever tried to update your Android phone manually, you know the process can be unnecessarily hard. There are so many steps and parts, that if one thing goes wrong, the whole process doesn't work. Recognizing this, the Android team came up with an even easier way.
Google's push for your safety gained some much-needed attention when it released the Pixel 4 smartphone. It has an app called "Personal Safety," which uses the array of built-in sensors on your phone to detect if you've been in a car crash. The futuristic safety feature was exclusive to the Pixel 4 initially but is now available to all Pixel owners as well.