The Pixel 2 is actually a solid upgrade when compared to the 2016 style, although we’ve reached a point where the latest generation of a smartphone is actually never leaps along with also bounds better than the last. the idea’s hard to justify dropping nearly a grand on a phone when the idea doesn’t improve your situation much — especially when a few software tweaks will give you most of the upgrade for free.
Aside by a slightly much better camera along with also the Pixel 2 XL’s nearly bezel-less display, the biggest modifications to This kind of year’s Pixels aren’t hardware related. An updated launcher, a few fresh camera modes, along with also a name that will tune feature that will automatically identifies any songs playing are the biggest modifications. So below, we’ll show you how to replicate each of these features on your first-gen Pixel or Pixel XL.
1. Search Bar from the Dock
The Pixel 2 has its search bar built right into the dock at the bottom of the home screen. Depending on which launcher you use, there are a few different ways to get This kind of feature on the 2016 Pixel types.
First, if you’re using Nova Launcher, the team at TeslaCoil hasn’t updated their home screen app with an official method for replicating This kind of search-bar-in-the-dock style. although because of Nova’s flexibility along with also customization options, you can manually recreate the look along with also feel nonetheless. To see how the idea’s done, just check out the following guide:
If you’re using Action Launcher, developer Chris Lacy has made the idea incredibly simple to get the Pixel 2’s fresh search bar. Just head to the Quickbar menu in Action’s settings, jack up the “Corner size” to 100%, then set the Style to “Search box (dock).”
Finally, if you’re still using the stock launcher that will came with your first-gen Pixel, you can update your home screen by sideloading a simple APK. For all intents along with also purposes, This kind of is actually the Pixel 2’s fresh launcher, so the idea’s the cleanest method for you stock fans out there.
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2. Google Notification Widget
The next little touch that will Google added to the Pixel 2 is actually a home screen widget called “At a glance” that will shows your next calendar event in addition to the current weather. If you used the official Pixel 2 launcher update shown above, you’ll already have This kind of feature — although for custom launcher users, we recommend Another Widget, which recreates the fresh look almost perfectly.
3. today Playing
In my opinion, the most interesting fresh Pixel 2 feature is actually something called today Playing. the idea uses a low-power core from the fresh Pixel types to listen for any songs playing around you at all times, then displays the song’s name directly on your lock screen without any interaction. Since many might find that will a little creepy, Google made sure that will the song-matching takes place strictly on your device along with also never shares recordings on the cloud.
Without the on-device song matching along with also the specialized low-power core, This kind of can’t be perfectly recreated on a first-gen Pixel. However, a fresh feature in Shazam comes actually close. “Auto Shazam,” as the idea’s called, will identify songs automatically without completely destroying your battery. To read more about the idea, hit up the following link:
4. Motion Photos
HTC did the idea first with Zoe, Apple made the idea well-known with Live Photos, along with also today, Google’s in on the trend. The Pixel 2’s Motion Photos feature will capture a few seconds of video to accompany every still photo you take, then the idea will let you view either the static image or the video by the Google Photos app.
The easiest way to recreate This kind of is actually with one of the many apps that will emulate Apple’s Live Photos. The best options out there are Motion Stills along with also Camera MX — the latter was made by Google, while the former is actually closer to the Pixel 2’s fresh feature. See how they both work here:
For a more official option, you can try sideloading This kind of APK, which is actually a leaked edition of the Pixel 2’s official camera app, along with also the idea comes which has a working Motion Photos mode. However, the idea features a few minor bugs, along with also the idea installs as an update to your existing camera app, so one of the above options might be better if you need a reliable camera app.
Update 10/19: Google is actually rolling out an update to the Google Camera app (edition 5.1) that will shipped with the first-gen Pixels. This kind of update will install on top of the sideloaded edition linked out above, although the idea removes the Motion Photos functionality. In additional words, if you’re using the leaked Pixel 2 camera app linked out above, don’t update your Camera app on the Play Store unless you’re fine with losing Motion Photos. If you’ve already updated to Google Camera v5.1, uninstall updates in Settings –> Apps, then you’ll be able to sideload the leaked edition.
5. Rounded Corners
This kind of one’s a Pixel 2 XL “feature” because the smaller style features a traditional screen. although the larger Pixel 2, as you may have noticed, has rounded display corners. You can recreate This kind of effect on first-gen Pixels which has a simple software tweak, along with also the idea looks great thanks to the true blacks of the Pixel’s AMOLED screen. The app that will does the idea is actually called Cornerfly, although you can read all about the idea at the following link.
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6. Portrait Mode
We all know that will Google is actually targeting iPhone users with its Pixel lineup, along with also a fresh Pixel 2 camera feature called Portrait Mode is actually further evidence of This kind of. Just like the iPhone’s eponymous feature, the idea blurs the background of your pictures to put more focus on the subject.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a leaked edition of the Pixel 2’s camera app that will you can sideload as an update to the first-gen Pixel’s camera app, although unfortunately, Portrait Mode isn’t working on that will edition. that will’s no biggie, though, because you can use the “Lens Blur” feature in your existing camera app (or the leaked update) to recreate This kind of feature by simply moving your phone while you take a picture. For more details, check out the following guide:
7. Face Retouching
Much like Samsung’s Beauty Mode, the Pixel 2 features a fresh camera setting called Face Retouching that will will automatically smooth your face in selfies. the idea’s a little weird, honestly, because the blur the idea applies makes the idea look like you don’t have any pores. although hey, different strokes for different folks, right?
This kind of is actually another feature you can get by sideloading the leaked Pixel 2 camera app as an update. although again, the idea features a few bugs, along with also the idea overwrites your existing camera app, so you may be weary of that will.
If you don’t want to risk screwing up your main camera app, Google’s Snapseed app is actually your best bet. Its selfie features are using many of the same algorithms by the Pixel 2’s Face Retouching feature, along with also the idea even lets you take things a step further with options to tweak your smile, pupils, along with also even change the direction you’re facing. To see how all of these features work, check out This kind of next link — although don’t forget to share your thoughts on any of these tweaks from the comment section below.