It’s no news that the tech tycoon Google has recently given a shot at making smartphones. And obviously they are doing pretty good at it, of course, due to their experience of running the Android OS is behind this success.
But developing an operating system and making gadgets that run with it are two totally different tasks challenging in their own different ways. But the Google Pixel 4 has won the hearts of the consumers as soon as it hit the market.
So, if you already have a Google Pixel 4, or are thinking of getting one, this article is for you. I’ve been meddling around with the device for a few weeks now, and here are some tricks I learned along the way which could make your experience with it even better.
Turn the “Face Unlock” Feature Off
This cool and new feature enables you to unlock the phone and still stay on the lock screen until you swipe up to the home screen.
But the downside of this is, that it will get activated even when you don’t want to unlock the phone but simply want the screen to wake up to check the time or battery percentage
Then, if you put it back inside your pocket without remembering to lock it, who knows what weird stuff the phone will do by itself?
A good way to avoid this would be to turn this option off. You can do that simply by going to Settings > Security > Face Unlock and toggle off Skip lock screen to have the phone wait to go to the home screen until you swipe up.
Take Full Advantage of the Motion Sensor
Remember those hi-tech Sony Ericsson or Motorola phones that you could shuffle songs and receive calls on just by shaking them?
Well, Google brings that back on their Pixel 4. The motion sensing feature of the phone allows you to do more than just shuffle your playlist. The feature is actually a collection of different features across the Pixel 4 that are enabled by its Soli radar chip.
The primary objectives of the feature are to enable you to change media tracks and silence interruptions like calls or alarms without having to wake the screen. But even though it sounds really cool but it can sometimes get annoying when the feature turns itself on without you intending it to.
For example, when the phone is on your table and you’re listening to your music or the radio is on, and you reach over the phone to grab something from the table, the music might stop.
To get rid of this inconvenience, simply turn the media skipping option off from Settings >System> Motion Sense> Media Skipping, and the problem will go away.
Save Battery The Way You Like
This is a good idea for any device you use. Especially for the Google Pixel 4, since it does not have that good battery life. By default the battery saver is set to ‘Based on percentage.’
While that is a fine choice, because it gives you the freedom to set it to come on whenever you feel is the danger zone for battery, which can be anything between 5% and 75%, this is an old school method of saving battery life.
The latest approach that this phone offers is the ‘Based on your routine’ option, which will let the phone decide by itself when it’s time for the battery saver to turn on, by recording your based on your regular usage of the phone against your usage of that particular day.
Go into Settings> Battery> Battery Saver, and then ‘Set a schedule’. OF course, you still have the option of manually turning the battery saver on by toggling the option from the notification set in the quick settings menu anytime you want. You can also turn it off anytime the same way.
Flip to “Shhh” and Get Rid of Distractions
While smart phones have made our lives smarter and easier, it did take away a lot of things that we used to boast of before we got smart phones., our concentration, for a start.
When was the last time you finished reading a book or writing something, or even attended a gathering without being constantly interrupted by the beeps and buzzes of notifications on your phone?
And the curious creatures that we are, we can’t help but check those notifications right away. Leaving your phone is always an option, but it’s not a very convenient one, is it?
Google gave this some thought, and came up with an innovative solution to this apparently minor problem that makes a rather major impact on our life; the ‘Flip to Shhh’ feature.
Typically, this is just an updated version of the ‘do not disturb’ mode. But on Google Pixel 4 the function is way more accessible and easier to operate than on any other phone that previously had this.
The phone quickly goes to “Do Not Disturb’ mode when you place the phone face down on a flat surface.
Just head to Settings > System > Gestures > Flip to Shhh and toggle it on next time before you pick your favorite book up, or go on that romantic date with that special person that you’ve been looking forward to.
Protect Your Privacy Better
One issue people are bummed about ever since the emergence of smart phones is the breach of privacy, which is a valid concern, of course. But the Google Pixel 4 promises to protect your privacy better than its counterparts.
Well, the phone enables you to choose and select specifically which apps you would like to share your location with. This opens new windows because now you can navigate around the city with maps without the fear of being followed or tracked down by unwanted users.
You can activate this feature by going to Settings> Privacy> Permission manager> Location and selecting the apps you want to share your location with from the list of the apps you’ll see along with their location status (allowed all the time, allowed only while in use, and denied).
Get Better Display
The Pixel 4’s screen supports a 90Hz refresh rate, meaning it delivers 90 frames per second (FPS), which is more than most traditional phones that deliver 60FPS.
This makes scrolling, playing games, and using the interface in general much more responsive. But even if it is turned on by default, Google restricts the use of 90Hz for battery saving purposes.
Turn this back on by going to Settings > Display > Advanced > Smooth Display.
But this doesn’t always work. If the phone’s battery saver turns this option off, you can turn it back on simply by selecting Settings > About phone and tap on Build number several times until you see a note saying you’ve turned on Developer options.
Now go back and head to System > Advanced > Developer options > Force 90 Hz refresh rate.
Tap this and toggle it on, and you’ll get a much sleeker, smoother interface. But do keep in mind that it will come at the cost of your battery life, so activate it at your own risk.
Configure the Google Assistant
Google Assistant is a fun and interesting tool that comes in handy almost every day in our lives. From knowing the weather condition outside to asking what’s happening on the other side of the globe, you turn to this not-so-old but very wise friend of yours.
Since Google is the creator of Google Assistant, of course you will get a little extra if you use it from the Google Pixel 4.
Here you can train (or retrain) the voice “OK Google” detection, choose whether the Assistant returns speech results, and decide whether you want personalized results based on your voice. Just go to Settings> Apps & Notifications> Assistant, and you can configure the whole thing.
Customize it any way you like. And there’s this cool new feature that allows you to activate the Google Assistant simply by squeezing the phone! The feature is called ‘Active Edge’, and once it’s turned on, you can change the squeeze sensitivity and also choose whether it works when the screen is off.
This saves you the trouble of going back to the home screen and shouting “Ok Google” every time you want to use the assistant. Cool, isn’t it?
Get the Right Setting for The Camera
The Google Pixel 4 has a dedicated shutter button so that you can capture amazing shots of a beautiful moment on an instant.
But there is more to it, the latest updated version of the phone lets you configure the camera app to make the best out of it. It comes with suggestions for framing, social share options, grid types, frequent faces, zoom controls, and a brightness/shadows slider which work together to give you the best quality photos you would expect from a top-notch cell phone.
My Overall Impression
The Google Pixel 4 is altogether a very good cell phone with cool features and perks. The only two thongs I did not like about it was the bad battery life and the fact that it did not have a fingerprint sensor. But I guess I was being too picky. In general, this could be a great gift to yourself or a loved one who is just getting started on smart phones.
Don’t Like Google’s Pixel 4? Read my article and switch to Google Pixel 3 instead.