Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL have many neat features. There are so many you can quickly become overloaded trying to learn them all. But, there are several hidden features, as well. These are features you won’t find in the manual or that Google didn’t use to promote the phone. Some of these Google Pixel and Pixel XL hidden features are useful and some are just fun. All of them make the phone even cooler than you thought possible.
Nearly all of the app icons on your Google Pixel have hidden shortcuts. Just press and hold down on the icon to see them. These shortcuts perform different actions. These actions depend on the app itself. Here are a few examples of actions you will see with an app:
- Messenger: Hold down on your texting app to see an action to send another message or to message the last person you sent you a message.
- Email: Hold down your email app icon to see an action to send a new email or open the newest email you just received.
- YouTube: Hold down the YouTube icon to see actions to view what is trending on the site, your subscriptions, and to search the video site.
- Google Maps: Holding this icon to see an action to open your navigation immediately.
- Google Music: Holding this icon lets you choose to open the last song you played or open your -library.
- Twitter: Hold this icon to send a new tweet, send a message to someone, or search all of Twitter.
You can even change the actions you see to something more useful for you.
Google Pixel Camera Features
The camera that comes with Google Pixel and Pixel XL doesn’t seem like much but it is really quite powerful. The reason why it doesn’t seem so great is because most of the features are tucked away where you can find them so easily. Once you learn the tricks to the camera, you will quickly see how powerful it is for taking high quality images and even videos.
- Quickly open the camera by double pressing on the power button. When you need to take a shot quickly before the opportunity disappears, this feature will get that job done for you. This will open the camera even when the phone is in sleep mode.
- Twist your wrist twice to take a selfie. You don’t need to press the selfie button and then pull the camera away from your face to take a good picture. Just twist your wrist to go to selfie mode while your hand is already pulled away from you for that perfect shot. Twist again to go back to regular camera mode.
- Take burst photos by holding down the “take photo” button. The camera will continue to take pictures for as long as you hold the button. When you let go you will see a gif of all pictures and that gif will save if you want to keep it. You can also see all the pictures you took together so you can keep the best one and delete the rest.
- The camera has a lens blur feature that lets you take beautiful pictures of up close objects. The feature focuses on the object in front and blurs out the background.
- Press down on the screen when you are about to take a photo to adjust the focus.
- Press down on the screen to see the slider to adjust brightness and white balance.
Use the Fingerprint Sensor to Quickly See Notifications
Google Pixel’s Move features let you use your fingerprint to perform some actions with the phone. You have to turn this feature on in the Move settings but it will take only a few moments and you will end up with the most convenient feature the device has.
Once you have the fingerprint sensor locked into your fingerprint you can quickly turn on your phone, load up the home screen, and see your notifications with just a swipe. All you have to do is press the press the power button and then swipe down the sensor to start it all up without having to input a code.
Turn on the Night Light
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have a night light feature that is turned off by default. You can turn it on in the settings, but the best way to use the feature is to set it turn on and off at specific times. It is a great way to let the phone remind you that it is time for bed. Set the night light to turn on at your normal bed time and to turn off when you get up in the morning.
Free Up Space Feature
Google Pixel and Pixel XL do not come with SD capability so you can’t add space to the device. It does, however, provide free cloud storage with Google so that is better than an SD card. The problem is that you can quickly fill up your phone storage with those burst photos and other downloads.
The phone is set to automatically save all your files, photos, videos, and more to the cloud. It is a useful backup feature, but there is another more hidden feature that makes this even better. The Free Up Space feature will remove all duplicate photos or files from your phone that are already backed up on the cloud. You can do this manually when you run out of the space or set the phone to do this automatically. If you want to do it manually you can free up space on the entire device or just press down on the app icon or feature icon you want to free up space with (such as your photos) and then choose to free up space from the shortcut action.
These Google Pixel and Pixel XL hidden features make the phone even more useful. Now that you know them you can use them to get the most out of your new Google device.