Among the best elements of utilizing a Pixel is the way in which tasty little specks of Google intelligence get sprinkled all all through the expertise. These small however vital morsels exhibit the worth of getting Google’s biggest elements built-in proper into your telephone’s working system, with none competing forces or awkwardly conflicting priorities at play.
And Goog almighty, does that make a world of distinction. The options in query could not at all times be probably the most eye-catching or marketing-friendly benefits, however they’re extremely sensible touches that may make your life simpler in some fairly highly effective methods.
At the moment, we’re gonna zoom into an particularly possibility-packed space of the Pixel’s software program setup, and that is the Android Overview space. The straightforward-seeming interface for switching between not too long ago used apps is overflowing with superior actions on a Pixel telephone, and when you uncover (or possibly simply remind your self) what’s there, you may be saving time and flyin’ round your telephone like no one’s enterprise.
In order a complement to my well-liked Pixel Academy e-course — a completely free seven-day e-mail journey that helps you uncover tons of next-level Pixel treasures — be a part of me for this tour of excellent and out-of-the-way Pixel Overview gems. Verify ’em out, strive ’em out, after which come join the course for much more super-practical Pixel awesomeness.
(Observe that a lot of the potentialities on this web page require Android 11 or greater to work. Which means should you’re nonetheless hangin’ onto a first-gen Pixel telephone, they will not be accessible for you, sadly. However do not despair. You possibly can nonetheless discover a lot of different worthwhile goodies in my Pixel Academy!)
Pixel superpower No. 1: The fast textual content copy
We’ll begin with a easy however supremely useful characteristic for copying textual content from virtually anyplace in a snap. You should utilize it to snag phrases from one thing like an internet web page or a doc, positive, however you possibly can additionally use it to spotlight and replica something from inside a picture, a screenshot you’d beforehand saved, and even an space of Android that would not sometimes let you choose and replica textual content — like a particular display screen throughout the system settings, for example.
Regardless of the case could also be, all you have gotta do is open up your Pixel’s Overview interface — by swiping up an inch or so from the underside of the display screen after which stopping, should you’re utilizing Android’s present gesture system, or by tapping the square-shaped button on the backside of the display screen, should you’re nonetheless holding onto the previous legacy three-button nav setup — after which press and maintain your finger onto the phrases you need throughout the view of your most not too long ago used app (or every other app in your present historical past).
So long as your telephone is operating Android 11 or greater, you must see the textual content in query get chosen. And you may then slide your finger round as wanted to broaden or refocus the choice. If you wish to choose all of the seen textual content on the display screen, it’s also possible to use the comparatively new “Choose” command on the backside of the Pixel Overview interface. Both means, as soon as your textual content is chosen, all that is left is to hit the “Copy” command within the menu that comes up after which do a spritely little jig of celebration.*
At that time, you possibly can head into every other app or course of you need — an in-progress e-mail draft, a messaging app, or maybe a note-taking device of some kind — and press your finger down in any textual content enhancing subject to drag up the “Paste” command and ship your freshly copied contents wherever they have to be.
* Spritely jig optionally available however extremely really helpful.
Pixel superpower No. 2: The speedy textual content share
Along with copying and pasting textual content from anyplace, the Pixel’s Overview interface permits you to share textual content and ship it straight into different apps and processes in your telephone. It is an excellent simpler solution to beam the information you want on to the place the place you need it, particularly if the ultimate vacation spot is a new e-mail, be aware, or message (as sharing will sometimes place the information in query into a brand new merchandise as a substitute of a draft you have been already engaged on).
Performing this feat is kind of just like pulling off our first little bit of Pixel sorcery: As soon as extra, you may open up the Overview interface after which press and maintain your finger onto no matter textual content you need to copy throughout the preview of any not too long ago used app. The one distinction is that this time, you may choose “Share” from the menu that comes up, after which choose no matter app you need to ship the textual content to from there.
If what you require is context, it’s also possible to choose “Search” as a substitute of “Share,” and your Pixel will ship the textual content into a brand new Google Search occasion sooner than you possibly can say “Aw, shucks, Siri sucks.”
Does not get a lot simpler than that.
Pixel superpower No. 3: The language-translating genie
This is a Pixel energy you’d most likely by no means know existed: For those who spotlight some textual content inside your Pixel telephone’s Overview interface that is not in your native tongue, your telephone will mechanically provide to translate the textual content on the spot for you.
Pixel superpower No. 4: The graceful textual content operator
That is most likely my favourite tucked-away Pixel risk — ‘trigger when you get within the behavior of utilizing it, it might probably actually be a significant step- and time-saver. So right here it’s: Anytime you have acquired a little bit of textual content that is related to an motion in your telephone, you possibly can spotlight it in your Pixel’s Overview interface (utilizing the identical course of we have utilized in our first few superpowers) after which discover a particular choice for performing on it in no matter means makes probably the most sense.
Let’s assume by some concrete examples, lets?
- For those who spotlight a telephone quantity inside Overview — in an internet web page, an e-mail, even a screenshot you captured of one thing six months in the past and simply pulled up within the Photographs app — your Pixel telephone’s Overview spirit will summon up the choice to name that quantity with a single quick faucet.
- Highlighting an tackle in Overview provides you with the choice to beam it over straight right into a Google Maps navigation — no copying, pasting, or fussing required.
- You probably have any ride-sharing apps like Lyft in your telephone, you must also see the choice to ship any addresses straight into them for straightforward and quick processing. These kinds of choices are sometimes tucked away inside a three-dot menu icon that reveals up alongside “Copy,” “Share,” and the opposite extra commonplace decisions, so make sure to look intently to see in the event that they’re accessible.
- When you choose a phrase throughout the Overview space that your Pixel telephone thinks you won’t know, you may see an choice to get a definition for it on the spot.
Hey, Google: Give a man a bit credit score, would ya?!
Pixel superpower No. 5: The moment picture extractor
This subsequent one’s cool: Whenever you’ve been something involving a picture in an app — an internet web page, a social media feed, even a screenshot that had images inside it — you possibly can press and maintain the picture inside your Pixel’s Overview space after which pull it out of the preview for easy sharing or saving.
It is a spectacular solution to save something you encounter anyplace — even in locations the place you possibly can’t normally extract photos simply — after which zap it over right into a be aware, e-mail, message, or anyplace else you may want it.
Pixel superpower No. 6: The clever picture searcher
You understand how a lot I love Google Lens, proper? Properly, you would be forgiven for forgetting (or possibly failing to note within the first place!), however Google’s glorious picture intelligence expertise is constructed proper into your Pixel telephone’s Overview space for super-easy looking inside photos in any apps you have been utilizing.
This one’s fairly wild: Simply pull up your Pixel’s Overview interface and press and maintain any picture you see inside an app’s preview. That ought to make “Lens” pop up as an choice. And should you faucet it, Google’s nearly eerily good system will do a lot of various things, relying on the context:
- It’s going to establish a landmark, a portray, or perhaps a plant or an animal, if one is pictured, after which provide up additional information about that object.
- It’s going to present you photos just like the one in your display screen inside Google Picture Search together with data and hyperlinks associated to what’s pictured — together with even shopping-related hyperlinks so you possibly can examine costs and buy the merchandise within the image, when related.
- It’s going to scan a barcode or QR code for you — no futzing round with third-party software program required.
- It’s going to provide to learn textual content inside a picture out loud to you.
- It’s going to provide to ship textual content inside picture over to a pc the place you are additionally signed in (in Chrome) for hassle-free cross-platform copying.
And all of that is simply the beginning of what Lens is able to doing. Remembering that it is at all times standing by and accessible in your Pixel telephone’s Overview space is without doubt one of the best methods to faucet into its magic.
Pixel superpower No. 7: The straightforward screenshot machine
Android’s at all times allowed you to seize screenshots with a fast press of a telephone’s energy and volume-down buttons, however that key combo is not at all times handy to activate — a minimum of, not with out some severe hand yoga concerned.
So make your self a psychological be aware of this: You possibly can at all times seize a screenshot of something by sliding your means over to your Pixel’s Overview space. Ergonomics apart, that offers you the benefit of getting a totally clear and neat picture of no matter’s in your display screen, with out all the standard system interface components (the standing bar, the navigation bar or buttons, and so forth) round it.
Simply march your means again into that Pixel Overview space and search for the “Screenshot” command on the backside of the display screen.
Faucet that dangerous boy and faucet it good, and you will be watching a static picture of no matter you final had open by itself, with none additional gobbledygook above or under it.
Pixel superpower No. 8: The app data shortcut
Ever end up needing to go into an app’s data display screen — possibly to regulate its notification habits or permissions and even to open up its Play Retailer web page so you possibly can seek for an replace or revisit some introductory data?
The swiftest solution to get there whilst you’re utilizing an app is to open up the Overview space in your Pixel, faucet the app’s icon on the prime, after which choose “App data” from the menu that comes up.
Quick, straightforward, and fuss-free. Sure, please.
Pixel superpower No. 9: The speedy screen-splitter
One in all Android’s most ignored options is the system-level choice for splitting your display screen in half and viewing two apps on the identical time. It is not one thing you are more likely to want all that usually, however when the proper event comes alongside — engaged on a doc whereas concurrently referencing an internet web page or e-mail, for example, or possibly peeking in at a spreadsheet while additionally watching images of Gary Busey (as one does) — good golly, it positive may be useful.
And guess what? That very same candy Pixel Overview space of ours is the important thing to tapping into that magic.
Simply glide your fancy person-feet again into Overview, faucet the icon of the primary app you need to use in your split-screen setup, after which faucet “Cut up display screen” within the menu that seems. That app will transfer up into the higher space of your display screen, and you’ll then choose the second app you need to full the image.
Pixel superpower No. 10: The app-pinning risk
A useful however hidden Android characteristic I at all times neglect to make use of is the software program’s app-pinning system. As soon as activated, it enables you to lock one particular app or course of to your display screen after which require a pin or passcode earlier than anything may be accessed.
The thought is that you can cross your telephone off to a good friend, a co-worker, or some method of rabid jungle fowl — possibly to allow them to see a doc, take a look at one thing on a web site, or peck out a fast name whereas their very own tiny bird-phone is not useful. And because you proactively pinned no matter app was related to that goal to your display screen, you possibly can relaxation straightforward understanding the relaxation of your stuff will stay safe and inaccessible till the telephone’s again in your arms.
To get this one going, you first want to fireside up the characteristic inside your Pixel telephone’s settings:
- Swipe down twice from the highest of the display screen, then faucet the gear-shaped icon to open up the system-level settings.
- Faucet the Safety part.
- Faucet the “Superior” line on the very backside of the display screen, then faucet “App pinning.”
- Be certain that the toggle on the prime of that display screen is within the energetic and on place, and ensure the secondary toggle (“Lock machine when unpinning” or “Ask for unlock sample earlier than unpinning,” relying in your Android model) can also be energetic.
Bought it? Good. Now, with that choice energetic, hop again into your Pixel Overview space, faucet the icon of any app you need to pin, and search for the aptly named “Pin” choice in that lovable little menu.
Faucet that, say “Ooga, booga, gherkin, workin’!” for good measure (and for my very own private amusement), and ta-da: That app can be locked in place. To get previous it and into anything, you may first need to swipe your finger up from the underside of the display screen and maintain it in place for a number of seconds, then present no matter method of unlocking authentication (PIN, sample, password, appendage, 14 drops of blood out of your pinky toe, and so on) is suitable to proceed.
For those who’re nonetheless utilizing Android’s previous three-button nav system, you may as a substitute press the square-shaped Overview button to get to the Overview interface, and you will press and maintain the Again and Overview buttons collectively from there once you’re able to unpin.
Pixel superpower No. 11: The pausing energy
This subsequent merchandise is one other oft-overlooked Android choice. It enables you to briefly pause a person app, which suggests the app’s icon will get grayed out and the app will not be capable to ship you any notifications till both you unpause it or the day ends — whichever comes first. It is a effective solution to give your self a reprieve from the horrors of social media, the people of your office Slack channel, or no matter different power is demanding an excessive amount of of your consideration throughout your (allegedly) off-work hours.
The app-pausing energy is at all times simply two faucets away in your Pixel’s Overview space: Get to that Overview interface, contact your favourite phalange to the icon of no matter app you need to pause, after which press the “Pause app” choice. For those who determine you need to unpause the app earlier than the day’s completed, simply discover and faucet its icon inside your house display screen or app drawer, and your telephone will immediate you to undo the deed.
Pixel superpower No. 12: The contemporary begin flick
Final however not least in our Pixel Overview superpower assortment is an choice that is broadly misunderstood and possibly used extra typically than it oughta be. Nevertheless it’s actually price being conscious of for the proper kinds of conditions.
So right here ’tis: While viewing any app inside your telephone’s Overview space, you possibly can flick its card upward to dismiss it from the listing. That’ll additionally dismiss the app out of your telephone’s energetic reminiscence and trigger it to begin up contemporary the subsequent time you open it as a substitute of choosing up the place you left off, because it usually would.
Regardless of what some of us consider, there’s actually no want to do that as a matter of behavior. Android mechanically manages its energetic reminiscence and removes stuff as wanted. Due to that, always closing all the things out as a type of compulsive “cleansing” is each pointless and infrequently even counterproductive (because the system will mechanically restart something that must be operating, which then results in even much less environment friendly use of sources). However when an app is performing funky or for another motive requires a reset, this one-two flickeroo is a effective Overview device to recollect.
And bear in mind, too: There’s heaps extra the place this got here from. Come be a part of my fully free Pixel Academy e-course for seven full days of pleasant Pixel data — beginning with some camera-centric smarts and shifting from there to superior picture magic, next-level nuisance reducers, and oodles of different alternatives for superior Pixel intelligence.
If there’s one factor I’ve discovered over time, it is that right here within the land o’ Googley issues, there’s at all times one thing new simply ready to be found.