If you’ve gotten your hands on a Google Pixel 6 or Google Pixel 6 Pro in the past few months, you might still be navigating all the smarts those phones pack. We’re here to help you make the most of all of Google’s new features, especially in the areas of AI and camera. Here are some tips and tricks that new Pixel 6 owners should use as soon as possible.
1. Get your money’s worth
As you may have noticed, Android 12 can change the colors of the operating system interface to match your current wallpaper. To use this, long-press on an empty area of the Pixel 6 home screen, then select wallpaper & style and wallpaper colors.
Below is Themed icons – Turn this on and the phone will try to style the home screen icons to match the wallpaper and the rest of the theme. This usually yields mixed results, as you’d expect considering it’s currently flagged as a beta feature.
2. Change the colors
The displays on the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro phones are impressive enough out of the box, but you do have a few options if you want to change how the colors look, and it’s worth at least knowing what those options are.
Select in settings advertisement and then Colours to see your choices which are Naturally, Strengthenedand Adaptive. Choose the adaptive option and your smartphone will change the way colors are displayed depending on the ambient light around it.
3. Translate languages faster than ever
Live Translate is a feature you can use across all apps on the Pixel 6, including incoming text messages and videos recorded in a foreign language. Most of the time it should only work when needed.
You can also say, “Hey Google, turn on interpreter mode” to have the Google Assistant translate from a foreign language while speaking into the microphone, which should come in handy when traveling internationally. The Tensor processor built into the Pixel 6 makes it all faster than ever. We’ll go into more detail about the Live Translator feature in another guide.
4. Create action pan and long exposure shots
The Pixel 6 has some clever camera tricks, including Action Pan, which keeps a moving object like a car in focus while the background is out of focus, and Long Exposure, which blurs the moving object while keeping everything else in the frame sharp.
They are really the same effect approached from different directions. To play around with these features, open the Camera app and select movementthen either action pan or long exposure. You will each receive a short tutorial that explains how the camera mode works.
5. Take control of the power button
With the Pixel 6, Google changed the use of the power button on the right side, making it a shortcut for the Google Assistant instead of actually turning the phone on and off (I think technically it’s not the power button anymore ).
However, you don’t have to follow Google’s lead. When you open Settings go to system, gesturesand Hold down the power button, you can change what this action does. Keep in mind that there are several other ways to launch the Google Assistant as well.
6. An Obvious Pixel Tip: Check Your Notifications
Having a history of your notifications can be very useful if you discard something before you’ve read it properly, or if you need to go back to something you forgot. This feature is available on the Pixel 6, but you’ll need to turn it on before you can use it.
Select in settings notifications and then notification history. You can toggle the feature on or off from here and view a list of recent alerts once history has been enabled. You can see the app that the notification came from and the built-in preview of it.
7. Quickly identify which songs are playing
One of Google’s best Pixel exclusives is its Now Playing utility, which identifies songs as they’re playing, Shazam-style, without you having to open an app or make a request. With its new Tensor chip, the Pixel 6 should be able to deliver results very quickly.
To ensure that Now Playing is enabled for your Pixel 6, open Settings and select advertisement, lock screenand Running now. You can turn the feature on or off from here, set up Now Playing notifications, and choose whether or not to keep track history.
8. Check Security Hub
With Android 12 on the Pixel 6, all security settings and features are organized into a central security hub, which you can access by selecting security from the settings. It covers everything from biometric security logins to the Find My Device tracking feature.
Choose Google Play Protect to make sure recently installed apps have given the all clear, or select Alerts for suspicious messages to make sure you get alerts about shady incoming SMS. If something unforeseen happens, here is a warning.
9. Make auto rotation smarter
Auto-rotate lets you enjoy movies and shows in landscape mode while social media apps can switch back to portrait mode, but your smartphone doesn’t always get it right when it comes to knowing which way you’re pointing it.
Select in Settings on your Pixel 6 advertisement and Auto rotate screenand make sure Activate face recognition Is on. The feature uses the front-facing camera to figure out how you’re looking at your phone and how tall the display should actually be.
10. Final Pixel Tip: Set up a Quick Tap shortcut
You can double-tap the back of your Pixel 6 to take a screenshot, launch Google Assistant, start or pause media playback, see the recent apps list, see recent notifications, or launch an app of your choice. It’s a handy shortcut worth setting up.
From the Pixel 6 main screen, select Settings system, gesturesand Type fast. On the following screen, you can turn Quick Tap on or off and customize what the shortcut actually does. You can adjust the strength of the taps required to activate the feature on the same screen.
This article has been updated since it was first published.