Pixel Features

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: Root Your Pixel 3 on Android 10

When new Android versions come out, the modding community has to find new ways to root the OS. It's a fun cat and mouse game to follow, but it also means the process of rooting isn't exactly the same as it was the last time you did it. Android 10 changes how root works on a system level for some devices, but luckily, the developers are already on top of things.

How To: Bring Back the Squeeze Gesture for Google Assistant on Your Pixel 5 — No Root Needed

The Pixel 5 is a bit of a departure from previous Pixels. Gone are the Pixel 4's Soli-based Motion Sense gestures, the Pixel 3's dual front-facing speakers, and the glass back panel of previous generations. But perhaps the most notable omission for long-time Pixel users is the lack of a squeeze gesture to trigger the Google Assistant.

How To: Install the ElementalX Custom Kernel on Your Pixel 3a

The Pixel 3a runs smoothly out of the box already, but installing a custom kernel can supercharge your experience even more. From fine-tuned CPU tweaks for boosting performance or battery life to adjusting the display colors for your screen how you want, ElementalX kernel can provide you with a ton of new features you didn't know you were missing.

How To: Turn Your Pixel 5's Camera Cutout into a Notification LED

The Pixel 5's beautifully slim and symmetric bezels don't leave much room for extra hardware like a notification LED. But with the Ambient Display feature and an inventive app, you can turn the display cutout for the front-facing camera into an animated notification indicator.

How To: Calibrate the Colors of Your Pixel 2's Display with ElementalX

No matter how good a display is, the idea of perfect color calibration is subjective — some prefer warmer more saturated colors, while others prefer the calmer cooler side of the color spectrum. It is almost impossible to create a single color calibration that everyone can agree on out of the box. The display on the Pixel 2 XL was specifically calibrated with a more realistic color profile in mind.

How To: Pixel 4 Bootlooping After Installing a Magisk Module? Here's How to Fix It Without TWRP

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.

How To: Disable Google Doodle Animations in the Pixel's Search Bar

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.

How To: Shrink the Pixel 5's Giant Status Bar Down to a Normal Size

The Pixel 5 is the first mainstream phone with perfectly symmetrical slim bezels. Most other "bezel-less" phones have had a disproportionately large bottom bezel, and while the iPhone's side and bottom bezels are symmetrical, there's a huge notch across most of its top bezel. The downside to the Pixel's approach is it has a pretty big display cutout for the front camera.

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: 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.

How To: Disable the Always-on Ambient Display on Your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL

Unlike traditional backlit LCD technology, OLED screens don't use any power to display black pixels. Many manufacturers have taken advantage of this by implementing an always-on display, which only lights up a few pixels here and there to show relevant info when your phone is locked. But this leads to extra battery drain, albeit small, and it increases the risk of screen burn-in.

How To: Now Playing History Lets You See All the Songs Your Pixel 2 Has Recognized

The Pixel 2 has a number of new unique features. One of the most interesting is the Now Playing option to identify songs you hear on a daily basis. Now Playing displays the artist and title of songs playing in the background of your day and shows this information on the lock screen. While this functionality is incredibly useful, the song history is not saved anywhere on your phone.

News: Some Shiny New Pixel 3s Aren't Registering SIM Cards & Google Is Dragging Their Feet on a Fix

You just brought a brand new Pixel 3 from the Google Store, and you insert your SIM card only to find the phone won't recognize it at all. No matter what you do, the SIM card won't register and your Pixel won't connect to your carrier network. That's what happened to me and several other Pixel 3 owners. The good news is a fix is coming, the bad news is Google doesn't have a date for that fix.

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: 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: 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.