What you can do with your Google Phone – The freshly announced Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones have finally arrived after months of anticipation, and if you’ve bought one, you’ll want to know how to get the most out of it as quickly as possible. From capturing amazing photographs in the middle of the night to having your new Google phone gently wake you up in the morning, there is a myriad of exciting things you can do with your new Google phone. All of our recommendations apply to both the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL, so wherever the Pixel 4 is mentioned, we’re also referring to the Pixel 4 XL.
What you can do with your Google Phones
Take photos of the night sky.
The Pixel 4 phones can shoot images of stars in the night sky if the exposure time is set to four minutes. If you want to try this, you’ll need a tripod or something to prop up your phone. As long as there isn’t too much light pollution in the area, the effect can be spectacular.
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The astrophotography mode is buried within the Night Sight mode and activates automatically when an extremely dark situation is detected (whether or not stars are visible). Swipe across the modes next to the shutter button on the camera to activate Night Sight, and if the framing is correct, you should see an on-screen message that the Astro mode is active.
When you press the shutter button, you should see a four-minute countdown (or less, depending on the available light). Keep your Pixel 4 totally still until the shot is finished—and if there are people in the shot, get them to do the same.
Transcribe audio in real-time
The Recorder software, which comes preinstalled on the latest Google smartphones, is another Pixel 4 exclusive. It leverages the device’s AI computational skills to transcribe the audio in real-time, so as you say your voice memos, the words will appear on the screen.
Although not flawless, this function is surprisingly accurate at detecting words based on our testing. It could save you a significant amount of time and effort if you spend a lot of time taking notes at meetings or lectures or interviewing people.
After you’ve stored your recordings, you can search through them and even check for specific sorts of sound—just key in “music” or “applause,” and Google’s machine learning will recognize them for you.
Skip songs with a swipe
The Pixel 4 includes Motion Sense, which employs a tiny sensor embedded into the top of the device. The sensor, among other things, illuminates the screen when you are ready to pick up your phone and allows you to deny calls or skip through a playlist without even touching the screen.
Most music apps, including Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Spotify, support song skipping—swipe right in the air above your phone to skip forward or left to go back. Go to Settings, System, and then Motion Sense to configure it. You can change the swipe direction, disable some features, and do other things.
Unlock your phone with your face
The Pixel 4 phones aren’t the first to include a face unlocking mechanism, but the technology on board is supposed to make it more seamless than ever—as in, you shouldn’t even see the lock screen as you pick up and glance at your phone.
When you first set up the Pixel 4, it will prompt you to enable face to unlock, but you can return to the same settings screen by going to Android Settings and selecting Security, then Face Unlock. If you like, you can reintroduce the lock screen swipe to the procedure. We’d also recommend having a backup unlock mechanism in place, such as a PIN number, just in case.
Ramp up the refresh rate
The new Pixel 4 phone has a 90Hz display refresh rate, which is faster than the industry standard of 60Hz. The screen updates 90 times per second instead of 60, resulting in speedier scrolling for games, browsing, and all of your apps. The phone will control the 90Hz refresh rate to conserve battery life and will disable it when brightness levels reach 75 percent or lower.
You’ll need to enable developer mode if you want to sacrifice battery life while maintaining the 90Hz refresh rate all the time. Tap About phone from Settings, then tap Build number seven times in a row. The developer mode should be activated, according to the notification. Then, under System and Advanced, you’ll notice a new Developer options menu in Settings. When you open the new menu, you’ll notice an option to Force a 90 Hz refresh rate.
Chat with the Google Assistant
Google Assistant has been updated on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, but similar changes may eventually make their way to the Assistant on older Pixels as well. On Pixel 4 phones, you can access the Assistant by swiping up from the bottom left or right corner or by saying “Hey Google.”
The Assistant on the Pixel 4 can’t do anything much different than it does on other phones, but it should be better at interpreting follow-up questions without requiring the “Hey Google” command every time. Response times should be quicker as well because the Pixel 4 stores more AI technology on the phone and relies less on the cloud. Those are “What you can do with your Google Phone”
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