Probably the greatest 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 best substances 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 all the time be essentially 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.
Right now, 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 lately used apps is overflowing with superior actions on a Pixel telephone, and when you uncover (or perhaps 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 widespread Pixel Academy e-course — a very 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. Test ’em out, strive ’em out, after which come join the course for much more super-practical Pixel awesomeness.
(Be aware that many of the potentialities on this web page require Android 11 or increased to work. Meaning in the event you’re nonetheless hangin’ onto a first-gen Pixel telephone, they will not be out there 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 wherever in a snap. You need to use 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 duplicate 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 duplicate textual content — like a selected display screen throughout the system settings, as an illustration.
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, in the event you’re utilizing Android’s present gesture system, or by tapping the square-shaped button on the backside of the display screen, in the event you’re nonetheless holding onto the outdated legacy three-button nav setup — after which press and maintain your finger onto the phrases you need throughout the view of your most lately used app (or some other app in your present historical past).
So long as your telephone is operating Android 11 or increased, you must see the textual content in query get chosen. And you’ll 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, you can even 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 some other app or course of you need — an in-progress e mail draft, a messaging app, or maybe a note-taking software of some type — and press your finger down in any textual content modifying subject to tug up the “Paste” command and ship your freshly copied contents wherever they should be.
* Spritely jig non-obligatory however extremely advisable.
Pixel superpower No. 2: The speedy textual content share
Along with copying and pasting textual content from wherever, the Pixel’s Overview interface lets you share textual content and ship it straight into different apps and processes in your telephone. It is an excellent simpler approach 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 had been already engaged on).
Performing this feat is sort of much 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 lately 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, you can even 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
Here is a Pixel energy you’d in all probability by no means know existed: In case you spotlight some textual content inside your Pixel telephone’s Overview interface that is not in your native tongue, your telephone will routinely supply to translate the textual content on the spot for you.
Pixel superpower No. 4: The sleek textual content operator
That is in all probability my favourite tucked-away Pixel chance — ‘trigger when you get within the behavior of utilizing it, it could actually be a serious 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 possibility for appearing on it in no matter means makes essentially the most sense.
Let’s suppose by way of some concrete examples, lets?
- In case you 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.
- When you’ve got any ride-sharing apps like Lyft in your telephone, you must also see the choice to ship any addresses straight into them for simple and speedy processing. These types of choices are sometimes tucked away inside a three-dot menu icon that reveals up alongside “Copy,” “Share,” and the opposite extra customary selections, so you should definitely look carefully to see in the event that they’re out there.
- When you choose a phrase throughout the Overview space that your Pixel telephone thinks you may not know, you may see an choice to get a definition for it on the spot.
Hey, Google: Give a man just a little credit score, would ya?!
Pixel superpower No. 5: The moment picture extractor
This subsequent one’s cool: If you’ve been something involving a picture in an app — an internet web page, a social media feed, even a screenshot that had photographs 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 approach to save something you encounter wherever — even in locations the place you possibly can’t often extract pictures simply — after which zap it over right into a be aware, e mail, message, or wherever else you would possibly want it.
Pixel superpower No. 6: The clever picture searcher
You know the way a lot I love Google Lens, proper? Nicely, you would be forgiven for forgetting (or perhaps failing to note within the first place!), however Google’s wonderful picture intelligence expertise is constructed proper into your Pixel telephone’s Overview space for super-easy looking out inside pictures 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 possibility. And in the event you faucet it, Google’s nearly eerily good system will do plenty of various things, relying on the context:
- It’s going to determine a landmark, a portray, or perhaps a plant or an animal, if one is pictured, after which supply up additional information about that object.
- It’s going to present you pictures much 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 evaluate 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 supply to learn textual content inside a picture out loud to you.
- It’s going to supply 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 all the time standing by and out there in your Pixel telephone’s Overview space is likely one of the most effective methods to faucet into its magic.
Pixel superpower No. 7: The straightforward screenshot machine
Android’s all the time allowed you to seize screenshots with a fast press of a telephone’s energy and volume-down buttons, however that key combo is not all the time handy to activate — not less than, not with out some critical hand yoga concerned.
So make your self a psychological be aware of this: You possibly can all the time 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 same old system interface parts (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 unhealthy boy and faucet it good, and you will be gazing a static picture of no matter you final had open by itself, with none further gobbledygook above or beneath it.
(In case you do not see that command, by the way in which, you are in all probability nonetheless utilizing one of many older Android navigation setups — both the legacy three-button nav mannequin or the Android-9-era two-button gesture system. Go into the System part of your telephone’s settings and choose “Gestures” adopted by “System navigation.” Change the setting there to “Gesture navigation,” and the whole lot ought to work flawlessly from right here on out!)
Pixel superpower No. 8: The app data shortcut
Ever end up needing to move into an app’s data display screen — perhaps to regulate its notification conduct 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 approach 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 every of Android’s most neglected options is the system-level possibility for splitting your display screen in half and viewing two apps on the similar time. It is not one thing you are more likely to want all that usually, however when the fitting event comes alongside — engaged on a doc whereas concurrently referencing an internet web page or e mail, as an illustration, or perhaps peeking in at a spreadsheet while additionally gazing photographs of Gary Busey (as one does) — good golly, it positive could 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 “Break up display screen” within the menu that seems. That app will transfer up into the higher space of your display screen, and you may then choose the second app you need to full the image.
Pixel superpower No. 10: The app-pinning chance
A useful however hidden Android characteristic I all the time overlook to make use of is the software program’s app-pinning system. As soon as activated, it allows you to lock one particular app or course of to your display screen after which require a pin or passcode earlier than anything could be accessed.
The thought is that you may move your telephone off to a pal, a co-worker, or some method of rabid jungle chook — perhaps to allow them to see a doc, have 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 the toggle on the prime of that display screen is within the lively and on place, and ensure the secondary toggle (“Lock system when unpinning” or “Ask for unlock sample earlier than unpinning,” relying in your Android model) can be lively.
Acquired it? Good. Now, with that possibility lively, hop again into your Pixel Overview space, faucet the icon of any app you need to pin, and search for the aptly named “Pin” possibility in that lovely little menu.
Faucet that, say “Ooga, booga, gherkin, workin’!” for good measure (and for my very own private amusement), and ta-da: That app will likely be locked in place. To get previous it and into anything, you may first should 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 forth) is suitable to proceed.
In case you’re nonetheless utilizing Android’s outdated 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 possibility. It allows you to quickly pause a person app, which implies 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 wonderful approach to give your self a reprieve from the horrors of social media, the people of your office Slack channel, or no matter different drive is demanding an excessive amount of of your consideration throughout your (allegedly) off-work hours.
The app-pausing energy is all the time 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” possibility. In case you determine you need to unpause the app earlier than the day’s carried out, simply discover and faucet its icon inside your own home display screen or app drawer, and your telephone will immediate you to undo the deed.
Pixel superpower No. 12: The recent begin flick
Final however not least in our Pixel Overview superpower assortment is an possibility that is broadly misunderstood and possibly used extra typically than it oughta be. But it surely’s definitely price being conscious of for the fitting types 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 record. That’ll additionally dismiss the app out of your telephone’s lively reminiscence and trigger it to begin up recent the subsequent time you open it as a substitute of selecting up the place you left off, because it usually would.
Regardless of what some people imagine, there’s actually no want to do that as a matter of behavior. Android routinely manages its lively reminiscence and removes stuff as wanted. Due to that, continually closing the whole lot out as a type of compulsive “cleansing” is each pointless and infrequently even counterproductive (for the reason that system will routinely restart something that must be operating, which then results in even much less environment friendly use of sources). However when an app is appearing funky or for another cause requires a reset, this one-two flickeroo is a wonderful Overview software 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 all the time one thing new simply ready to be found.