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The Pixel incorporates functions to transfer data from another Android, an iPhone or the cloud. If you are looking to do the minimum amount of work, it is best to have both phones on hand.
Do not worry if you need to get rid of your old phone. If this is the case, back up your contacts, music, and photos to Google Drive before recycling or reselling it. If you have an iPhone, follow our instructions to switch from an iPhone to an Android to transfer your phone / iCloud content to Google Drive.
At the end of the setup process, you’ll see some additional preferences to set up: automatic device backups, Google services, and the Google Assistant.
As far as automatic device backups are concerned, we would be hard-pressed to find a reason to opt out. On the one hand, backups are saved in Google Drive but are not counted depending on storage limits (which is not the case for automatic backups of the iPhone, which occupy the already limited 5 GB of free space In iCloud). In addition, backups are synchronized with services like Google Photos and Contacts, so they are kept in a format accessible to you.
The preferences you set for Google Services depend to a large extent on your desire for privacy. Therefore, read each section carefully if you have any questions about how your phone data is used.
The Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones with which the Google Assistant has been incorporated. It’s Android’s answer to Siri and the adult version of Google Now. If you prefer, you can bypass the Wizard setup during the initial startup process and return to it later. Learn more about Google Assistant below.
Even if you’re used to Android phones, it’s possible that the Pixel home screen looks a little different. Its simple interface is refreshingly clean and crisp, but it keeps some of its features out of sight and out of mind.
Start Search & weather
For example, the Pixel Home screen does not have the Google search bar frequently present. But simply tap the less aggressive “G” logo in the upper left corner to type in a search. Similarly, touching the weather icon (next to today’s date) opens a window with forecasts.
Similar Menus of iOS
Only a few applications adorn the home screen but press the up arrow to see the entire list of applications. Some applications also have context menu shortcuts. Like the deep presses in Apple’s 3D Touch ecosystem, you can click on many application icons to jump directly to common tasks.
Many Androids have gesture-based shortcuts for certain actions, and Pixel is no exception. Display these movements and turn this option on or off in Settings> Moves.
There are two movements for camera shortcuts, “Jump to Camera” and “Flip Camera”. The first opens the camera with a double tap on the power button. The latter enters and exits the selfie mode when you use the camera (with the phone in hand, turns the wrist twice).
There are three movements that control whether and when the locked screen is locked: “Swipe for notifications”, “Double tap to check the phone” and “Lift to check the phone”. The safest option is the first, “Slip for Notifications”, which displays notifications after a downward shift in the fingerprint sensor.
The other two selections (double touch/elevation to check the phone) allow you to view the notifications without having to press any button or unlock the phone. These options were not available at startup and, if you do not see them, your phone probably needs an operating system update. To check for software updates, go to Settings> About Phone> System Updates.
Pulse notification light
The pixel has an indicator light for notifications, which you can never find if you are not going to specifically look for it. It is disabled by default, but you can activate it in Settings> Notifications> Settings (touch the gear icon in the upper right corner)> Pulse notification light.
When the phone is asleep, look at the area on the left edge of the handset. If you have a notification, you will see a pinpoint size LED flashing occasionally.
Unlike many other major Androids (including last year’s Samsung Galaxy flagship) pixel displays do not include in the always-on option. However, they have an “Ambient Display” setting that can be turned on and off.
By default, it is activated: the phone’s screen is automatically activated whenever a new alert appears. If it drives you crazy, turn it off in Settings> Display> Environment Screen.
Pixels have a split-screen multitasking mode that lets you view the content of two side-by-side applications. With both applications running (and one in fullscreen mode), press and hold the square icon to the right of the start button. After a moment, you can select the applications you want to share the screen.
If you double-tap the square icon instead of holding it, it will be sent back to the last application you were using.
As we mentioned earlier, Google Assistant is the Android response to Siri. The two virtual assistants are used in a similar way, but in our experience, the Google Assistant seems to be a bit more versatile and reliable than its predecessor iOS.
Start with start button or voice
In order for Google Assistant to work (and to access your account information and settings), press the start button. You will see that you can interact with the Wizard using keyboard or voice commands.
To start Google Assistant with your voice, make sure “OK Google” is enabled. Start the Google Assistant, and then press the right menu button (three dots) to view a menu. Tap “Settings” and set “Accept Google detection” in the on position. If you have not used it before, you’ll have to say “Ok Google” sometimes as part of the setup process. After that, you can say “Ok Google” to start the Wizard at any time, even when the phone is locked.
If you’re stunned about how best to use the Wizard, try asking “What can you do?” To get some ideas.
Keep in mind that it plays very well with Google’s powerful applications. For example, say “Show me pictures of my dog” shows dog photos automatically detected in my Google Photos account. Assistant can also take hands-free photos: “Ok Google, take a selfie in five seconds.”
The Pixel iteration of the Google Assistant also includes a voice-controlled shopping list memo. “Ok Google, add dog food to my shopping list.” A Google Assistant shopping list is added to Google Keep and completed with the voice note. View the list through the Google Keep app (preinstalled on the pixel) or ask the wizard to show it.
Battery saving mode
The battery saving mode comes into play during times when the phone’s battery is in its last stage, but you need to hold it a little longer. When enabled, Google Maps navigation can not be used, background operations are limited, and synchronized applications (email and messaging, for example) are not synchronized until you open them.
You can turn the Battery saver mode on and off by going to Settings> Battery> Battery saver. You can use it sporadically, or you can set a preference to automatically activate battery saving mode at 5 percent or 15 percent remaining battery power.
You may see some other useful items in the Settings section. Include a list of your applications so you can see which are the most hungry. If you touch the three-point menu icon, you can check if any of your applications have available battery optimization options.
Turn your phone into a VR machine
Pixels are on the short list of smartphones that work with Google Daydream View. The US $ 79 headset is stylish, comfortable and has a remote control/pointer clean in the box.
Once you have your hands in one, go to our guide to getting started.
Quick Setup … and an Easter Egg
You may have noticed the “Android Easter Egg” that lists in the image of the battery life above. This Easter egg is a cat theme game hidden in the operating system. To enable it, you will have to go through Configuration and then Quick Configuration, a contextual menu accessed by sliding twice from the top of the screen.
To complete the first step, go to Settings> About phone> Android version. Tap the Android version until a full screen appears. N. Repeatedly touch N for about 10 seconds, press and hold. You should see a small emoji cat below the N.
After you have seen the cat, exit the settings and access Quick Settings by sliding twice from the top of the screen. The first blow down shows your notifications; The second scroll down shows the quick settings. This is a customizable menu; By default, it includes useful switches for daily tools like flashlight and airplane mode.
To activate the game, click Edit (pencil icon in the upper right corner). There should be an “Android Easter Egg Icon” under the “Drag to add tiles” section. Drag it up to the main window, and then return to Quick Setup.
Touch the empty Easter egg icon/dish, and you will see a new window with four different types of cat treats. Here, you are choosing which treat you would like to bait for a digital cat. You will choose a gift and nothing will happen … for now. Keep trying and you will finally get a notification that a cat came for your treats. The goal of the game is to collect as many cats as possible.
Keep in mind that this is the Easter egg for Android Nougat. Once the Pixel’s operating system is upgraded, this game (along with some of the above settings) will probably change.