The Pixel 4 is one of the most talked-about phones of 2019, and it has many things going for it, especially in the world of rooting and modding. Just as with previous Pixel generations, unlocking the bootloader is the gateway to realizing your device's true potential. It can make way for such things as TWRP, Magisk, custom ROMs, and many other device-specific mods just the same.
If you want to root, it's step one. If you're a tinkerer, it's vital. It's Android's hidden "Developer options" menu, and it's definitely worth taking 30 seconds to unlock.
You watched the live stream, pored over the specs, and are now super excited for the Google Pixel 4. But specs don't tell you everything. After using the Pixel 4 XL for over a week now, we've found several things you wouldn't know without getting your hands on the phone.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL are the first Android phones released in the US to support secure facial recognition. You no longer have to hate on your Apple's friends because you now have "Face ID" as well. So I assume you want to set it up right away — here's how.
QR codes are supposed to make life easier, but having to install potentially shady third-party apps just to scan one is more trouble than it's worth. Thankfully, there's a QR code reader built into all Google Pixels, but you wouldn't know it unless you stumbled across the feature.
Your Pixel has a few hidden features you probably don't know about, like the ability to clean up your funky contacts list. Since I'm sure you haven't manually organized your contacts since the inception of Android, there are likely some incomplete and duplicate contacts. Thankfully, your phone can fix this automatically.
One of the major additions in the Google Pixel 4 is the new Soli chip. It's the miniature radar sensor that powers Motion Sense, a new way to interact with your phone without touching it. There are a few new gestures you'll need to learn to take advantage of Motion Sense, so let me break them down for you.
It's always a big deal when the company that makes Android releases a new phone. Google's Pixel series has made a name for itself in three short years behind its camera prowess, but now it's time to start competing with the major players. That said, Google should like how their Pixel 4 and 4 XL stack up against the iPhones and Galaxies of the world.
TWRP won't be ready for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL until months after release. But since you can already root with Magisk and tinker with the OS, you might find yourself in a situation where your phone won't boot, yet you don't have a custom recovery installed to fix it. Luckily, there's still a way around this.
Whether you love Motion Sense or think it's a gimmick, one thing we can agree on is that its functionality is limited. It's currently limited to switching tracks on a playlist, snoozing alarms, silencing calls, lowering the volume of alerts, and checking notifications. But a new mod will help you do so much more with it.
The Pixel 4 comes with a new "Styles and wallpapers" app that lets you change icons, accent colors, and more. But if you're on a first-gen Pixel, a Pixel 2, or a Pixel 3, you don't get this feature. On the bright side, there's still a way to use it.
The Pixel 4 is one of the most talked-about phones of 2019, so you know there will be lots of third-party developer support. Mods are already popping up, so you'll want to get Magisk installed as soon as possible to get root access. The current method used to gain root is the quickest way yet, thanks to the recent TWRP custom recovery support for the Pixel 4.
Document scanning is possible via the Google Drive app, but my brain doesn't think of opening a cloud storage app to scan a document. I usually just open the camera app and take a picture instead — and apparently, I'm not the only one.
Most of us have had a cloud-connected address book for years now. The result of this is an ever-growing contact list that will continue to get harder to navigate and manage. With the increased size of our contact lists, it becomes more important to sort contacts in a way that works best for us.
Your phone is loaded with contacts you've collected over the years. They're an asset, and you should use your library of connections outside the confines of your mobile device. Luckily, your Pixel uses a standardized medium to store contacts that can be used by the likes of LinkedIn, Outlook, Hubspot, iCloud, and more.
I want my Android device to run how I want, and I want it to be useful and positively contribute to my life. Recently, animations have started appearing on the Pixel's search bar when Google has a seasonal Doodle on their front page. It attracts my attention and distracts me from what I think is important. After several days of annoyance, I went on the hunt to turn these animations off.
Android 10 has some super cool gestures that let you navigate your device with intuitive swipes. But did you know this headlining feature is not enabled by default? To get the most out of Android 10, you'll have to turn on gesture navigation.
The Pixel's "Flip to Shhh" feature may not be groundbreaking, but it is useful. Third-party apps are copying it for other phones because it's so convenient. But it's not enabled by default and it's fairly hidden in the settings. So to take full advantage of your Pixel's feature set, you should learn how to use Flip to Shhh.
It's been almost two years since Apple added the TrueDepth depth-sensing camera of the iPhone X for Face ID and Animojis, but now Google is ready to upgrade the front-facing camera on its Pixel series.
The idea of squeezing your phone might have sounded a bit out there when it was new, but it's now a hallmark feature on Pixel devices. As useful as it is for summoning the Google Assistant, however, it certainly would be nice to be able pick and choose what action is triggered by squeezing the phone. Well, now you can.