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7 cool pixel features you can’t get on other Android phones



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Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo

The Google Pixel The series of phones have not really captured the imagination or attracted that kind of sales in the same way as the big name Android rivals have, but Google actually introduced Android features first on the Pixel series. Here are a few the most important Pixel exclusives that make it more tempting to buy one—in addition to the obvious benefit of accessing new Android software before anyone else.


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Screenshot: Android

Screen your conversations with Google Assistant

Pixel conversationThe screening feature utilizes smarter from Google Assistant, which will answer incoming calls on your behalf, if you wish. When a call is screened, the caller hears a message from Google Assistant asking who is calling and why. That information is then forwarded to you in a transcript, if the caller does not hang up.

To activate the feature, open the Google Phone app, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, then select Settings and Spam and Call Screen. You have to turn on See caller and spam ID, and then you can press Call Screen to further configure the function. At the time of writing, the feature has only been rolled out to U.S., Canada and Japan.


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Screenshot: Android

2. Get suggestions for apps

If you can never completely decide which apps deserve a place on on the home screen, you can have Google Pixel select some of them for you. Long press on an empty area on the Home screen, then select Home settings and Suggestion, and activate Suggestions on the home screen (You can also get suggestions in the main app drawer if you want).

The suggestions always appear in the bottom row of the home screen, just above the search box, although you can replace one or more of the tracks with a static shortcut by dragging the icon down. Google says the suggestions are “based on your recently used apps, most used apps, and routines,so that’s why you see what you see.


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Screenshot: Android

3. Activate automatic driving mode

Another Pixel exclusive that you do not get on other Android handsets is the ability to automatically jump to Do Not Disturb or Android Auto Driving mode when the handset detects that you are moving. This working with Pixel 3 and later (on Pixel 2 is not disturbing the only option). It’s not a great feature, but it’s pretty practical nonetheless.

On a Pixel 3 and later, from Settings, select Connected devices, Connection settings, and Driving mode, and then press Behavior (the options you are looking for this depend on your phone and car). Select on Pixel 2, from the main Android Settings screen Sound, Do not disturb and Turn on automatically, then select Add rule and select Driving.


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Screenshot: Android

4. Edit the sky in Google Photos

One of the great editing tricks offered by Google Photos is the ability to change the sky in your photos, but not everyone gets access to all the features. Strictly speaking, this is not an exclusive Pixel, but it is somehow. You need either a Pixel phone or an active Google One subscription on a non-Pixel device to access these cloud filters in Google Photos.

With an image open in Google Photos, tap Adjust then Heaven to make your choice. Glorious really brings the colors out much brighter, for example while Glow gives more of a warmer glow. The rest of the image is also modified to better reflect the style of the sky you have selected, and you can adjust the effect of the effect with the dial on the bottom.


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Screenshot: Android

5. Take Time Lapses of the Night Sky

Pixel phones also have other nice shooting features. The Google Camera will offer you an extreme Night Sight mode intended for taking pictures of the night skytake advantage of the built-in AI processing – when it detects that the conditions are appropriate. In June 2021, a new time lapse option was added so that Pixel owners could create their own amazing movies.

You need a Pixel 4 or later for this, but if your phone supports the feature then you see one Enable astrophotography timeouts the option in Advanced part of the Google Camera app settings—tap the arrow and then the gear icon from the shutter screen to find them. When the conditions are right, you will be able to take a short clip in addition to a still image.


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Screenshot: Android

6. Identify any music, at any time

Pixels comes with a Now Playing feature that works like a Shazam clone that is always on and always listening. In other words, if you want to know what a particular song is, you do not need to grab the phone quickly, open an app, and activate listening mode. Mwhen the song title and artist are already displayed on the Pixel lock screen.

To customize how Now Playing works, open the main settings screen for Android and then select Sound and vibration, Advanced, and Playing now. You can choose whether to display song IDs on the log screen, and dig in Now playing history also – a list of all the songs that your Pixel phone has recently retrieved in the background.


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Screenshot: Android

7. Subtitling videos in real time

Google has promised that this feature will eventually roll out to “select” Android phones that are not pixels, but for now you need a Pixel 2 or later to activate it. To open the Settings page on your Android device, select Sound and vibration, Do you want to see Direct subtitling option – press it to activate the function and configure the various settings.

Essentially, Live Caption adds real-time subtitles to any video or audio played on your device, which is very useful for those with hearing problems or if you are in a quiet place and can not turn up the volume. You can even ask for labels like laughter, applause and music, and in our experience AI is very impressive (though not flawless, yet).


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