Google Pixel Tips, Tricks & News

How To: There's a Faster Way to Check for System Updates on Your Pixel

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.

How To: See if Your Phone Has A/B Partitions for Seamless Updates

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.

How To: Make Android 10's Dark Mode Turn on Automatically at Sunset

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.

How To: Disable the Pull-Down Quick Settings Menu on Your Pixel 4's Lock Screen

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.

How To: Enable 2-Button Navigation on the Pixel 4

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.

How To: Set Up Car Crash Detection on Your Pixel to Contact Emergency Services When You Can't

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.

How To: Pause Music with Your Pixel's Motion Sense Radar Gestures

When Google first launched the Pixel 4, it was and still is the only phone in existence that uses a radar system for motion gestures. Yes, that radar — the same kind of motion-sensing technology used in the military for years — is available on our phones. The Pixel 4 did come with a gesture to let you change songs without touching the phone itself, but you can now pause your music just the same.

How To: Fit More Notification Icons in Your Pixel's Status Bar

In older Android versions, you could flood your status bar with a wall of notification icons. But starting with Android 9, Google made it to where you can only see four icons by default, and it was mostly done to accommodate phones with notches. But Google's only notched phone is the Pixel 3 XL, so what if you have literally any other Pixel?