7 Google Pixel Features You Probably Forget to Use

7 Google Pixel Features You Probably Forget to Use

A phone’s most interesting features aren’t always the most obvious ones. Google, in particular, has a habit of tucking useful features away in easily overlooked places — and its Pixel phones are certainly no exception. Whether you’ve got the current Pixel phone or an older Pixel model, you can enjoy Google’s latest and greatest features because your device’s software is constantly getting updated. These tucked-away features will save you time and make your phone more effective and efficient— they’re already there and just waiting to be found.

1.   Time-Saving Text Extraction and Text Share

Pixel phone can help you pull text out of practically anywhere imaginable and then copy it, share it, and search for it. What’s especially interesting here is that this feature works even in places where you don’t typically copy text, such as your feed in social media apps, parts of the Play Store, or even sections of your system settings.

You can also use Pixel’s Overview interface to share text and send it directly to other apps and processes on your phone. It’s an even easier way to send the information you need directly to where you want it, especially if the final destination is a new message, email, or note. Sharing will typically place the information in question into a new item instead of a draft you are already working on.

2.   Smart Storage Scrubbing

Photos and videos are generally some of the biggest consumers of local phone storage, but if you use Google Photos’ built-in backup service to sync all your media to the cloud – there’s no reason to keep the redundant local copies in place. Smart storage is a hassle-free system for monitoring your phone’s local storage and then clearing out local copies of images and videos you’ve already backed up to Google Photos whenever your space gets low.

While you can always do that on your own, you have to remember to do it regularly and take the time to go through the various manual steps involved with the process. With smart storage, you can now rest easy knowing your phone’s storage will manage itself, and you’ll never have to lift a finger again. To set up Smart Storage, open your Pixel phone’s system settings and go to the Storage section. Tap the line labeled “Smart Storage,” then select whether you want your backed-up photos and videos to be removed when they’re 30, 60, or 90 days old.

3.   Intelligent Image Extractor and Image Searcher

If you’ve been looking at anything involving an image in an app such as a social media feed, a web page, or even a screenshot that had photos within it, you can press and hold the image inside your Pixel’s Overview area and then pull it out of the preview for simple sharing or saving in a note, email, message, or anywhere else you might need it.

You can also use Google Lens to search images – all you have to do is pull up your Pixel’s Overview interface, then press and hold any image you see within an app’s preview. This will make “Lens” pop up as an option. And if you tap it, Google’s image intelligence technology will identify the image, show you images similar to the one on the screen, or scan QR or barcode.

4.   Language Translator

The Google Lens feature built into Pixel’s Camera app can read the text in other languages, translate it, and place it back into your viewfinder. It uses augmented reality, a feature that can now work with 55 languages offline and 104 languages online. The new Live Translate feature on Pixel 6 can translate incoming messages, text in your camera viewfinder, and transcribed audio — even when offline. It can translate 43 languages, including English, French, German, Italian, and Japanese.

So, if you find yourself texting someone who speaks another language, Live Translate makes talking to them considerably easier. You can text in your own language, but Live Translate automatically converts and sends it in the language spoken by the person on the other end. Additionally, any messages the other person sends are translated into your language.

5.   Screen Your Calls with Google Assistant

The Pixel call-screening feature leverages the smarts of Google Assistant, which responds to incoming calls on your behalf if you want it to. When a call gets screened, the caller hears a prompt from Google Assistant asking who’s calling and why.

If the caller doesn’t hang up, you can see a transcript of the conversation happening between Google Assistant and the recipient in real-time. Open the Google Phone app, tap the three dots in the top right corner, then choose Settings and Spam and Call Screen to enable the feature. You need to turn on See caller and spam ID, and then you can tap Call Screen to configure the feature further.

6.   Simpler Screenshots and Split Screen

Android phones typically allow you to capture a screenshot by pressing your phone’s volume down and power, but that isn’t always convenient. Pixel phones make it simple to capture a screenshot of anything by using the Pixel Overview interface and tapping the Screenshot option. This gives you the advantage of getting a completely clean and neat image of whatever is on your screen, without all the usual system interface elements, such as the status bar, navigation bar or buttons, or any other extraneous elements.

The Google Pixel can also run apps in a split-screen mode, where you can view two apps at once, keeping you from needlessly switching between apps. Here’s how to use the feature.

  1. Open the two apps you would like to use in split-screen mode.
  2. While in one of the apps, press and hold the ‘recent’ button.
  3. In the bottom half of the screen, select the app you wish to display.
  4. Your Pixel phone should display two apps on your screen. Drag the middle bar up and down as desired.

7.   Pause App

Notifications can be a blessing and a curse. They’re super handy at times, but they can be distracting too. But with Pixel’s app pause feature, you can give yourself a break from notifications and snooze them. App pause lets you pause an individual app temporarily, which means the app’s icon will get grayed out, and the app won’t be able to send you any notifications until either you unpause it or the day ends.

To pause an app, head over to the Overview interface, select the app you want to pause, then press the “Pause app” option. If you decide you want to unpause the app before the day’s done, just find and tap its icon on your home screen or app drawer, and your phone will prompt you to undo the deed.

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Thanks to our friends at GenerationIX in Los Angeles for their help with this article. Check them out at https://www.generationix.com/it-services-los-angeles/

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