The Google Pixel was one of the best phones of 2016 and it still holds strong after months of being out. This was also the first smartphone that Google manufactured themselves without any partner this means you get the purest Android experience there is on this device. Customizing Google pixel to your own liking is a must because the stock apps and experience is very stripped-down and purely Android. This becomes apparent especially when you move from another manufacturer like Samsung to a pure Android device. There is no bloatware here, there are no additional apps from the smartphone manufacturer and everything runs a lot smoother.
The Google Pixel is a great smartphone but it needs a bit of a customization to make it really shine. Is like a well-made department that just needs furnishings according to your tastes. This is the beauty of Android, you are free to do whatever you want and it is doubly true on a stock Android device. This article is all about the bling and the amount of customization and personalization you can pull off with ease on a stock Android device. Let’s get down to it right away.
1. Change the Wallpaper
One of the simplest moves you can make to customize the look of your smartphone is to change the wallpaper. A good wallpaper has the ability of truly modifying the way your smartphone looks and feels. Thankfully Google Wallpapers is a great way to start on the Google pixel. Simply long press on the home screen and select the wallpaper option. You can try out different live wallpapers here or even opt for a 24-hour changing still wallpapers. The new Google pixel introduced a slowly changing wallpaper selection that either changes according to the battery level or even show the current cloud conditions based on your GPS location. Overall it’s a great way to change the look of your smartphone in just few steps.
2. Enable 4K Recording
The Google pixel comes with a very capable main camera and it can shoot very respectable looking photos. To me personally this camera is on par with the one found and Galaxy flagships as well as the iPhone. When it comes to recording videos, the camera is capable of recording 4K ultra HD videos. However, you’ll need to activate the options within the settings in the camera app. In order to do this, select Settings > Back camera video resolution > UHD 4K and you are all set to record ultra-crisp videos.
3. Get Google Photos
Speaking of 4K videos, they do take up a lot of space on your limited storage. Thankfully, Google is providing free cloud storage for all Google pixel users. All you need to do is download the Google Photos app and set it up to back up photos and videos on the cloud. The best thing about using Google photos on Google pixel is that you’ll not only be able to get unlimited storage for all your videos and photos but you can also upload them in original quality. This means you will be backing up photos in their original resolution; an actual 4K footage that you shot from your smartphone. I think it’s a very good deal and every Google pixel user should avail it.
4. Use Fingerprint Reader
This part is not about setting up the fingerprint reader, by now you have already set it up yourself and are using it to secure your device without having to type anything. This is about using the fingerprint sensor when your smartphone is already unlocked. You can use the fingerprint sensor located on the back of the smartphone as a touchpad to stylishly pull down the notification menu on any screen. The feature is turned off by default for some reason but you can just as easily turn it back on. Head over to Settings > Moves > Enable Swipe for Notifications. At first you will feel a bit awkward using this gesture but after a while it will feel natural and you’ll look cool pulling it off as well.
5. Enable Moves
When it comes to pulling off stylish moves, the Google pixel is really up to par. In the Moves section you’ll also find a shortcut that launches the camera app when you double tap the power button. You can enable it easily in that menu. There is another good gesture available that allows you to quickly change between the front and back cameras simply by double twisting the smartphone in your hand. That’s right, you can physically shake the smartphone to switch between cameras now and it is a very useful feature to use in a hurry.
6. Check out Google Assistant
One of the biggest selling points of Google pixel smartphone was the inclusion of Google Assistant. Google has really stepped up their AI game with this assistant and it really shows how well it is optimized for the Google pixel. While you can easily launch the Google Assistant by long pressing the home button, it is a lot cooler to “call” Google Assistant whenever you want. In order to enable voice activation, bring up the Google Assistant, The 3 vertical dots located on the upper right side, select settings and simply change the things you want. You can even register your voice to activate Google Assistant simply by saying “okay Google”.
7. Change UI Size
Is the user interface too large for you or too small to even read? You can easily change that in the display settings. Head over to Settings > Display and select the display size option, from there you can easily move the slider until the icons are just the perfect size for your taste.
Another cool option here is hidden by default. Swipe down to bring the notification tray down, long press on the cog button located on the upper right corner of the screen. After a significant long press, the System UI Tuner option will be unlocked in the settings menu. There is a lot to tweak there and I recommend that you check every option available.
8. Night Light
The blue light emitted from your smartphone can trick your brain into thinking that it still daytime and it’s actually night outside. You don’t want that to happen to you because you’ll have trouble falling asleep after subjecting your eyes to that harsh blue light. Thankfully, there is a great option of turning on Night Light that gives your screen a yellowish tone. This allows your eyes to relax a bit. Go to Settings > Display > Night Light to turn on the option.
9. Change the Keyboard
Policy default keyboard that comes with Google pixel is a very capable one, you may want to swipe it out for something a bit fancier. All you need to do is simply head over to the Google play store and download a 3rd party keyboard for your smartphone. As this is an Android platform, everything is customizable and changing the keyboard is one of the few things that you can do with ease. If you need recommendations, check out our best keyboards for Android list to get some inspiration.
10. Get a Custom Launcher
Google has certainly improved the stock launcher on their Google pixel smartphone but it is still lacking some important features that are available for years on other third-party launchers. Check out our best launchers for Android list and get yourself a custom launcher. Custom launcher allows you to change almost every aspect of the user interface on your smartphone and it is a great way to completely overhaul the look of it.
These were a few tips and tricks to customize Google pixel smartphone, there are a ton of options available on this Google flagship device and we are very pleased to see many customization options enabled by default. I hope that you will be able to customize the smartphone to your own liking and truly enjoy the Android experience this great device has to offer.
Tell us how your experience with the first Google flagship smartphone has been so far in the comments below, we love to hear your stories about it.