12 hidden Pixel superpowers

    One of the perfect elements of utilizing a Pixel is the way in which tasty little specks of Google intelligence get sprinkled all all through the expertise. Those small however important morsels showcase the worth of getting Google’s best substances built-in proper into your cellphone’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 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.Today, 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 simple-seeming interface for switching between lately used apps is overflowing with superior actions on a Pixel cellphone, and when you uncover (or perhaps simply remind your self) what’s there, you may be saving time and flyin’ round your cellphone like no person’s enterprise.So as a complement to my fashionable 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. Check ’em out, strive ’em out, after which come join the course for much more super-practical Pixel awesomeness.(Note that many of the prospects on this web page require Android 11 or increased to work. That means should you’re nonetheless hangin’ onto a first-gen Pixel cellphone, they will not be accessible for you, sadly. But do not despair. You can nonetheless discover numerous different worthwhile goodies in my Pixel Academy!)Pixel superpower No. 1: The fast textual content copyWe’ll begin with a easy however supremely useful function for copying textual content from virtually wherever in a snap. You can use it to snag phrases from one thing like an internet web page or a doc, positive, however it’s also possible to use it to focus on and duplicate something from inside a picture, a screenshot you’d beforehand saved, and even an space of Android that would not usually let you choose and duplicate textual content — like a particular display throughout the system settings, as an example.Whatever the case could also be, all you’ve got gotta do is open up your Pixel’s Overview interface — by swiping up an inch or so from the underside of the display 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, 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 lately used app (or every other app in your present historical past).JR As lengthy as your cellphone is working Android 11 or increased, you must see the textual content in query get chosen. And you may then slide your finger round as wanted to increase or refocus the choice. If you wish to choose all the seen textual content on the display, it’s also possible to use the comparatively new “Select” command on the backside of the Pixel Overview interface. Either 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 may 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 type — and press your finger down in any textual content enhancing subject to tug up the “Paste” command and ship your freshly copied contents wherever they should be.* Spritely jig non-obligatory however extremely really helpful.Pixel superpower No. 2: The speedy textual content shareIn addition to copying and pasting textual content from wherever, the Pixel’s Overview interface permits you to share textual content and ship it instantly into different apps and processes in your cellphone. It’s an excellent simpler method to beam the data you want on to the place the place you need it, particularly if the ultimate vacation spot is a brand new e-mail, word, or message (as sharing will usually place the data in query into a brand new merchandise as an alternative of a draft you have been already engaged on).Performing this feat is sort of just like pulling off our first little bit of Pixel sorcery: Once extra, you may open up the Overview interface after which press and maintain your finger onto no matter textual content you wish to copy throughout the preview of any lately used app. The solely distinction is that this time, you may choose “Share” from the menu that comes up, after which choose no matter app you wish to ship the textual content to from there.If what you require is context, it’s also possible to choose “Search” as an alternative of “Share,” and your Pixel will ship the textual content into a brand new Google Search occasion sooner than you may say “Aw, shucks, Siri sucks.”Doesn’t get a lot simpler than that.Pixel superpower No. 3: The language-translating genieHere’s a Pixel energy you’d in all probability by no means know existed: If you spotlight some textual content inside your Pixel cellphone’s Overview interface that is not in your native tongue, your cellphone will robotically supply to translate the textual content on the spot for you.See?JR Fantástico, ¿no?Pixel superpower No. 4: The clean textual content operatorThis might be my favourite tucked-away Pixel chance — ‘trigger when you get within the behavior of utilizing it, it may actually be a significant step- and time-saver. So right here it’s: Anytime you’ve got acquired a little bit of textual content that is related to an motion in your cellphone, you may 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 probably the most sense.Let’s assume by means of some concrete examples, we could?If you spotlight a cellphone 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 Photos app — your Pixel cellphone’s Overview spirit will summon up the choice to name that quantity with a single quick faucet.
    JR Highlighting an tackle in Overview gives you the choice to beam it over instantly right into a Google Maps navigation — no copying, pasting, or fussing required.
    If you’ve gotten any ride-sharing apps like Lyft in your cellphone, you also needs to see the choice to ship any addresses instantly into them for straightforward and quick processing. Those types of choices are sometimes tucked away inside a three-dot menu icon that reveals up alongside “Copy,” “Share,” and the opposite extra normal decisions, so you’ll want to look carefully to see in the event that they’re accessible.
    When you choose a phrase throughout the Overview space that your Pixel cellphone thinks you may not know, you may see an choice to get a definition for it on the spot.
    JR Hey, Google: Give a man a bit of credit score, would ya?!Pixel superpower No. 5: The on the spot picture extractorThis subsequent one’s cool: When you’ve got 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 may press and maintain the picture inside your Pixel’s Overview space after which pull it out of the preview for easy sharing or saving.JR It’s a spectacular method to save something you encounter wherever — even in locations the place you may’t often extract photos simply — after which zap it over right into a word, e-mail, message, or wherever else you may want it.Pixel superpower No. 6: The clever picture searcherYou understand how a lot I love Google Lens, proper? Well, you would be forgiven for forgetting (or perhaps failing to note within the first place!), however Google’s glorious picture intelligence expertise is constructed proper into your Pixel cellphone’s Overview space for super-easy looking inside photos in any apps you’ve got been utilizing.This one’s fairly wild: Just 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 should you faucet it, Google’s nearly eerily good system will do numerous various things, relying on the context:It’ll establish a landmark, a portray, or perhaps a plant or an animal, if one is pictured, after which supply up more information about that object.
    It’ll present you photos just like the one in your display inside Google Image Search together with info and hyperlinks associated to what’s pictured — together with even shopping-related hyperlinks so you may examine costs and buy the merchandise within the image, when related.
    JR It’ll scan a barcode or QR code for you — no futzing round with third-party software program required.
    It’ll supply to learn textual content inside a picture out loud to you.
    It’ll 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 accessible in your Pixel cellphone’s Overview space is likely one of the best methods to faucet into its magic.Pixel superpower No. 7: The easy screenshot machineAndroid’s all the time allowed you to seize screenshots with a fast press of a cellphone’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 severe hand yoga concerned.So make your self a psychological word of this: You 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 very clear and neat picture of no matter’s in your display, with out all the same old system interface parts (the standing bar, the navigation bar or buttons, and so forth) round it.Just march your means again into that Pixel Overview space and search for the “Screenshot” command on the backside of the display.JR Tap 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 under it.Pixel superpower No. 8: The app information shortcutEver end up needing to go into an app’s info display — perhaps to regulate its notification habits or permissions and even to open up its Play Store web page so you may seek for an replace or revisit some introductory information?The swiftest method to get there when you’re utilizing an app is to open up the Overview space in your Pixel, faucet the app’s icon on the high, after which choose “App info” from the menu that comes up.JR Fast, simple, and fuss-free. Yes, please.Pixel superpower No. 9: The speedy screen-splitterOne of Android’s most neglected options is the system-level possibility for splitting your display 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 correct event comes alongside — engaged on a doc whereas concurrently referencing an internet web page or e-mail, as an example, or perhaps peeking in at a spreadsheet while additionally gazing photographs of Gary Busey (as one does) — good golly, it positive may be useful.And guess what? That identical candy Pixel Overview space of ours is the important thing to tapping into that magic.Just glide your fancy person-feet again into Overview, faucet the icon of the primary app you wish to use in your split-screen setup, after which faucet “Split screen” within the menu that seems. That app will transfer up into the higher space of your display, and you’ll then choose the second app you wish to full the image.JR Whee!Pixel superpower No. 10: The app-pinning possibilityA useful however hidden Android function I all the time neglect to make use of is the software program’s app-pinning system. Once activated, it enables you to lock one particular app or course of to your display after which require a pin or passcode earlier than the rest may be accessed.The thought is that you possibly can cross your cellphone off to a buddy, a co-worker, or some method of rabid jungle chicken — perhaps to allow them to see a doc, take a look at one thing on an internet 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 objective to your display, you may relaxation simple understanding the remainder of your stuff will stay safe and inaccessible till the cellphone’s again in your fingers.To get this one going, you first want to fireside up the function inside your Pixel cellphone’s settings:Swipe down twice from the highest of the display, then faucet the gear-shaped icon to open up the system-level settings.
    Tap the Security part.
    Tap the “Advanced” line on the very backside of the display, then faucet “App pinning.”
    Make positive the toggle on the high of that display is within the lively and on place, and ensure the secondary toggle (“Lock device when unpinning” or “Ask for unlock pattern before unpinning,” relying in your Android model) can also be lively.
    Got it? Good. Now, with that possibility lively, hop again into your Pixel Overview space, faucet the icon of any app you wish to pin, and search for the aptly named “Pin” possibility in that lovable little menu.JR Tap 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 the rest, you may first should swipe your finger up from the underside of the display and maintain it in place for just a few seconds, then present no matter method of unlocking authentication (PIN, sample, password, appendage, 14 drops of blood out of your pinky toe, and many others) is acceptable to proceed.If you are still utilizing Android’s previous three-button nav system, you may as an alternative press the square-shaped Overview button to get to the Overview interface, and you may press and maintain the Back and Overview buttons collectively from there whenever you’re able to unpin.Pixel superpower No. 11: The pausing energyThis subsequent merchandise is one other oft-overlooked Android possibility. It enables you to quickly pause a person app, which suggests the app’s icon will get grayed out and the app will not be capable of ship you any notifications till both you unpause it or the day ends — whichever comes first. It’s a superb method to give your self a reprieve from the horrors of social media, the people of your office Slack channel, or no matter different pressure 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 wish to pause, after which press the “Pause app” possibility. If you determine you wish to unpause the app earlier than the day’s carried out, simply discover and faucet its icon inside your own home display or app drawer, and your cellphone will immediate you to undo the deed.Pixel superpower No. 12: The recent begin flickLast 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 is definitely value being conscious of for the correct types of conditions.So right here ’tis: Whilst viewing any app inside your cellphone’s Overview space, you may flick its card upward to dismiss it from the checklist. That’ll additionally dismiss the app out of your cellphone’s lively reminiscence and trigger it to begin up recent the following time you open it as an alternative of selecting up the place you left off, because it usually would.Despite what some people imagine, there’s actually no want to do that as a matter of behavior. Android robotically manages its lively reminiscence and removes stuff as wanted. Because of that, consistently closing all the things out as a type of compulsive “cleaning” is each pointless and infrequently even counterproductive (for the reason that system will robotically restart something that must be working, which then results in even much less environment friendly use of sources). But when an app is appearing funky or for another purpose requires a reset, this one-two flickeroo is a superb Overview device to recollect.And keep 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 information — 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 realized 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.

    Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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