Google always sets aside a few cool software features to remain exclusive to its Pixel phones. But that's the thing about Android: software features can be ported to other devices.
You may be wondering what exactly makes the Pixel 4a's camera so great. Compared to its predecessor, it has the same Sony IMX363 sensor and no additional hardware. Well, beyond stellar image processing, it also has several great new features that Google has added since they released the Pixel 3a last year.
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.
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.
Google is making its Phone app, the default dialer for Pixel and Android One devices, available to many other smartphones via the Play Store. If you're enticed to replace your factory-installed dialer to take advantage of the spam-filtering capabilities, you don't want to miss out on other features like the ability to customize canned responses for declining calls.
I think it was about Day 3 of working on our massive, all-encompassing Pixel 4a root guide for beginners when I realized something: Not everyone needs their hands held through each tiny step. If you just need a quick refresher, some links, and maybe a fastboot command to copy, this Pixel 4a root guide is for you.
How To: Install Dirty Unicorns on Your Pixel & Get Custom ROM Features Without Losing Motion Sense & Active Edge
If you've ever been into custom ROMs, you likely know the Dirty Unicorns name pretty well. It's been synonymous with unique features and awesome tweaks when compared to stock. Recently, Dirty Unicorns has returned again in a big way with some neat features for Android 10.
If you live in the US, it's pretty simple: The Google Pixel 4a is the best phone for rooting and modding in 2020. Its price keeps the risk-reward ratio nice and low, and its unlockable bootloader makes it easy to modify virtually any aspect of Android.
When compared to last year's model, the Pixel 4a has upgrades that go beyond the spec sheet. But since it's one generation old, 2019's Pixel 3a can be had for one hell of a discount right now, and it's still got two full years of software updates coming its way. So which one really is the better buy?
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.