There are simple things you might want to do right out of the box, however, to get you started and to remove some of the little irritations.
Here's how to get started with your new Google Pixel.
Turn off the touch vibration and sound, unlocking sounds and power on sounds
Sure, it's nice to know your new phone is responding, but vibrations and sounds are irritating and slow everything down. Head into settings > sounds > other sounds. Here you'll find a collection of sliders. Silence is golden, as they say, and you can safely switch most of them off.
Turn off Gmail sounds
Yes, as soon as you sign into your Pixel with your Google account, Gmail gets a grip and starts chiming on every email. If, like us, you get a constant barrage of emails, you'll want to kill this too. Head into Gmail and open the left-hand pane, scroll down to settings, tap your account, hit inbox sound & vibrate. Then tap sound and none. Phew. We're getting quieter.
Turn off keyboard vibration
This does actually slow down input, so killing vibration on every key press is recommended. Head into settings > languages & input > virtual keyboard > Google keyboard > preferences > and turn off vibrate on keypress. There's also sound here, turn that off if it's on, unless you want to be really unpopular in public places.
Set up a second Pixel Imprint
During setup you registered a fingerprint on one hand right? That will be the hand you normally hold the phone in. Take the time to register your finger from your other hand. When you're hanging onto the train and want to unlock your phone with that second hand you have, you'll thank us.
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Switch on the battery percentage indicator
Yes, once again there's no percentage charge shown on this Google phone, but it is hiding in the System UI Tuner. This is a hidden collection of settings, but very easy to access. Swipe down the notifications shade and press and hold the settings cog at the top. Release after a couple of seconds and the System UI Tuner will appear at the bottom of the settings menu. Open this up, tap "status bar", then battery and select to always show the battery level.
Stop Google Play adding icons to your home screen
Yes, it's irritating that Android assumes you want to add a shortcut for every app you install ot the home screen. In Google Play, open the menu, scroll down to settings, and uncheck the "add icon to home screen" box.
Enable swipe for notifications
The Google Pixel has an "exclusive" feature (borrowed from Huawei), allowing you to swipe the fingerprint scanner to pull down the notifications. Head into settings > moves and you can toggle on this option. It's addictive, we love it, and it's great for quickly looking at all your notifications.
Claim your unlimited Google Photos backup
This one is pretty simple. Open Photos and the first thing you're presented with is a screen reminding you that you're getting unlimited backup storage. If you have more than one account on your device, make sure you apply it to the correct one for your photos. You don't want unlimited storage for your personal photos on your work account, for example.
Turn on Night Light
This is the feature that will change the colour of your display to a warmer hue in the evening to help you wind down. Head into settings > display > night light. You'll get the option to turn it on/off at sunrise too.
Enable the OK Google hotword for Google Assistant
Google Assistant is one of the exclusive features for the Pixel at launch and to get access at any time, you'll need to enable the Ok Google hotword, allowing you to ask questions without having to touch your device. Head into settings > Google > search & now and you'll see the Google Assitant settings. Here you'll find "Ok Google" detection. Follow the process to set it up.
Hungry for more Pixel tips?
If you want more, we have a comprehensive tips and tricks feature that will guide you through many aspects of your new Pixel handset, including turning on hidden features, finding Easter Eggs, pro camera tips and a whole lot more!
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