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Google’s Pixel lineup comes with a plethora of impressive functions, but some are easier to find and activate than others. The coolest bonus features are hiding just beneath the surface. This list examines the most intriguing.
Whether you’ve just received a new Pixel for Christmas or simply want to learn more about your phone, these features are guaranteed to enhance your user experience.
Note for this tutorial we used a Pixel 4a running the latest Android 11 version.1. Know What’s Playing
Now whenever music is playing nearby, the Pixel will be able to pick up and identify the sound waves, then show you which track is playing on your lockscreen. Pretty handy!2. Add Captions to Any Audio
To test this out, open a YouTube video on your device and press play. You should start seeing the captions appear underneath. You can resize or reposition the caption box on the screen according to your needs. Note that at this moment, the feature works only for English language audio, but Google says more languages will be added in the near future.
Under Live Caption, you’ll find additional options – for example, Caption calls. This service provides live captions when you’re on the phone with someone. It’s enabled by default, although your Pixel will ask you if you want captions every time you get a call unless you instruct it otherwise. If you don’t want this, you can turn the feature off from here.3. Silence Notifications When You Place Your Phone Down
Need to focus on something and don’t want any distractions? The Pixel offers an easy solution to get some peace and quiet. Activate the “Flip to Shhh” option to trigger a Do Not Disturb mode, which silences notifications and other distractions whenever your phone is face down on a flat surface.4. View Notifications Using Your Fingerprint
If you often use your phone one-handed, you’re going to like this trick. It allows you to view notifications without having to swipe your finger from the top of the display. Instead, you can swipe on your fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone, which is much more comfortable when you don’t have both hands free.
To view your notifications, swipe down on the sensor. Alternatively, if you wish to close them, swipe up.5. Take Advantage of the Built-in VPN
Connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks is quite a dangerous affair, but Pixel owners have a set of tools in place that can protect them from such unpleasantness.
Once you do so, Google sends the Wi-Fi assistant over to notify you that in order to protect your privacy on public Wi-Fi, your data will be transmitted through a secure VPN, courtesy of Google. Tap on the “Got it” button to finally turn the feature on.
The option is on all Pixel and Nexus devices running Android 5.1 and above. According to Google, it’s currently available in select countries, including the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and the UK.
For those with Google Fi, the Wi-Fi assistant is also available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.6. Create Custom Themes and More
Here you can select from the numerous styles available or create your own by tapping on the Custom button. Pick your fonts and select which type of icon pack you’d like to have, then finish by selecting the highlight color and shape of icons.7. Be Prepared in Case of Emergency
Newer Pixel models come with an app called Safety pre-installed. This service lets you set an emergency contact who will be allowed access to your phone without having to unlock it. You can also add vital information in the app, such as any allergies you may be suffering from, medications you are on or whether you’re an organ donor.
You can also enable automatic crash detection, a feature which alerts emergency responders, as well as your contacts, that you’ve been in an accident. Right now the option only works for owners of the Pixel 3 (and above) who live in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.
If you’re looking for some additional apps to install on your Pixel, you may want to consult our list of the best Android file managers to help you organize everything or check out the best weather apps that deliver comprehensive forecasts at your fingertips.
Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.
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After Windows 11’s official release last year, Microsoft is still keen on adding new features and trying to improve the overall PC experience. We have already curated a list of the best Windows 11 features, which include the new centered taskbar, the new Start menu, a re-designed Action Center, smooth animations, and a lot more. And in this guide, we bring you the 18 best hidden features in Windows 11 that you should use to get the most out of Microsoft’s new desktop OS. From obscure features to hidden settings, we have mentioned everything in this article, so let’s go ahead and unpack the list.
In this article, we have added the 18 best hidden Windows 11 features that are not highlighted much but can enhance your PC experience significantly. These features have been tested on the latest Windows 11 Pro Stable build (22000.527) after the February update. You can expand the table below and take a look at these hidden features.1. Weather Widget in Taskbar
In case you have moved the taskbar alignment to the left, then keep in mind that Windows 11 won’t show the weather widget. You just need to enable “Widgets” from Taskbar settings, and the weather widget will appear on the taskbar. In case you want to completely disable widgets from Windows 11, follow our linked tutorial.2. Mute/ Umute Mic From the Taskbar 3. Share Any Window From the Taskbar
In addition to the universal microphone switch, Microsoft has also brought a seamless way to share screens during video calls. If you are using Microsoft Teams, you can now hover over an app or an active window on the Taskbar and choose “Share this window”. This will instantly share the particular window, offering a hassle-free screen sharing option. Keep in mind that you need a work or school account associated with Microsoft Teams to use this feature.4. Voice Typing With Punctuation Support
Voice typing is undoubtedly one of the best hidden features of Windows 11, and I don’t see many people using this awesome tool. It allows you to type in any text field or window with a hotkey. Simply press “Windows + H” to see the voice typing pop-up come up. Now, speak out whatever you want to type, and it will accurately transcribe your speech, that too with correct punctuation. We have already written a guide on how to use voice typing in Windows 11 so go through our guide for detailed instructions.5. Android App Support
After months of testing in Insider channels, Microsoft has finally brought Android App support to Windows 11 stable users. If you are in the US, you can install Android apps and games on your Windows 11 PC with ease.6. Hidden Old Context Menu 7. Access Folders in Start Menu 8. Redesigned Emoji Picker
Even the emojis have been redesigned and now look in line with Windows 11’s aesthetics. You should use this hidden Windows 11 feature while chatting with your friends on WhatsApp Web or other messaging services.9. Shake to Minimize (Aero Shake)
Earlier known as Aero Shake, Windows 11 also includes the Shake to Minimize feature that lets you minimize all the open windows except for the active one by shaking the title bar (see GIF attached below).10. Manage Volume For Individual Apps 11. Advanced Gesture Controls 12. Dynamic Refresh Rate
Dynamic Refresh Rate is another Windows 11 hidden feature that everyone should use if they have a high refresh rate display. It just makes Windows 11 so smooth while navigating across the UI and interacting with different OS elements.13. Focus Session
Focus Session is the next Windows 11 hidden feature that not many are talking about. For users who wish to remain productive and disciplined when using their Windows 11 computer, Focus Session can help you achieve a lot.
The app also has a helpful dashboard that enables you to track your progress. And just like smartphones, it alerts you periodically to take a break. All in all, Focus Session is one of the obscure Windows 11 features that more people should use to be productive while working from home. If you want to learn how to use Focus Sessions on Windows 11, check our detailed guide linked here.14. Clipboard Sync
Windows 11 has an awesome clipboard syncing feature that works across Windows and Android devices. It’s hidden deep under the System Settings page, so not many bother to turn it on. But now, with Microsoft’s Swiftkey getting a clipboard synchronization feature in the stable channel, it works on Android devices too, without any issue.
What does this mean? Well, you can now copy text from your Windows 11 computer and instantly paste it on your Android device and vice versa. Isn’t that cool? To learn how to sync clipboard across Windows and Android devices, head over to the linked tutorial.15. Screen Time
Just like on smartphones, Windows 11 now also offers a dashboard where you can view the screen time of your laptop. You can check the screen on time, screen off time, sleep time for 24 hours, and a week’s period. It will help you gauge your Windows 11 laptop’s battery life and find apps eating up your battery juice. There are also options to sort apps based on background usage and overall usage. To learn more, head over to our guide on how to check screen on time on Windows 11.16. DNS Over HTTPS
With DNS over HTTPS, even DNS queries will be encrypted using the HTTPS protocol making all communication on your Windows 11 PC protected and private. You can find out how to turn on DNS over HTTPS on Windows 11 from the linked article.17. Spatial Sound
Spatial Sound (aka Windows Sonic) is a handy feature in Windows 11 that lets you experience 3D sound or at least have an impression of immersive sound on your PC. It simulates a 3D sound experience with your existing audio gear, which is great. The sad part is that the feature is disabled by default on Windows 11. You can move over to our detailed article on how to enable Spatial sound and enhance audio quality in Windows 11.18. Windows Backup
Similar to what we have on smartphones, Windows 11 also comes with a complete backup solution. But to use this feature, you must sign in with your Microsoft account on your PC. All your files and folders from the user profile (Desktop, Documents, & Pictures) will be uploaded to OneDrive, and Microsoft will store your app list, on-device Settings preferences, Microsoft Store preferences, and more.Utilize Windows 11 Hidden Features to Improve Your Experience
Surveillance cameras vs security cameras, which one should you choose? Turns out, many people believe that surveillance cameras and security cameras are the same. However, there are plenty of differences between them, such as operation, accessibility, purpose, and quality. If you want to know more about surveillance cameras, here are seven things that set them apart:Surveillance Cameras Have Higher Video Quality
Surveillance cameras are usually better than security cameras when it comes to clearer images, digital zooms or pans, or even personal identification, animal identification, or vehicle identification. They are technologically more complex than security cameras and often require proper management. Surveillance cameras have HD video quality, but some even reach 4k video quality.The Footage is Displayed in Real-Time Significantly Deter Crime in Public Areas
Surveillance Cameras Are Often Hidden
Security cameras are often visible to employees, but surveillance cameras in public spaces are mostly hidden to deter criminals from trying to damage them. Some examples include the surveillance cameras installed near ATM machines. Criminals know they are there, which deters them from committing a crime, but they don’t know where the camera is to block it.You Can Access Them From Anywhere
One of the most fun things about surveillance cameras is that you can access them from anywhere you are. Let’s say you go on vacation and want to check up on your business or a public space just out of curiosity. You can do so through your laptop or phone with certain apps or by accessing certain websites that allow you to share the view of public spaces.Some Surveillance Cameras Can Sense Pheromones
Surveillance Systems Can Detect Motion of Up to 100 Feet
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
The brand-new Google Pixel 7 Pro has a lot going for it. It’s powered by the latest Tensor G2 chipset, sports an improved camera system, and features a more modern design.
However, how much better is it than its predecessor, and should you buy it if you already own the Pixel 6 Pro? These are just a few of the questions we’ll answer in this Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro comparison, as we look closer at the design, specs, features, and pricing of both handsets.
The Pixel 7 Pro and the Pixel 6 Pro have very similar displays. They both sport a 6.7-inch OLED panel with QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. They are also both protected from scratches by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus and come with a punch hole that houses the selfie camera. However, Google claims that the Pixel 7 Pro’s display is 25% brighter than the one of its predecessor. A brighter display is always better, especially when viewing it under direct sunlight.
When it comes to design, the differences are more noticeable. Both feature a protruding camera bar on the back that stands out from the crowd, sporting a different accent color than the rest of the phone — depending on the model. However, the camera bar on the new Pixel 7 Pro is toned-down compared to the one on the Pixel 6 Pro and is made of aluminum instead of glass. It looks more modern while still providing the phone with a unique look.
In terms of materials, both phones sport a glass back and an aluminum frame that gives them a premium look and feel. There are slight differences between the two when it comes to colors, though. The Pixel 7 Pro comes in Obsidian (black), Snow (white), and Hazel (greenish-grey). The first two colors sport a silver camera bar, while the Hazel colorway comes with a gold camera bar.
On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro comes in Stormy Black, Cloudy White, and Sorta Sunny, with all three color options sporting a black camera bar.
Design is subjective, so there’s no winner in this category. However, I prefer the look of the new Pixel 7 Pro since it’s a bit toned down compared to its predecessor and gives off a more professional vibe.
Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Pixel 7 Pro: Price and availability
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Pixel 7 Pro: From $899 / £849 / €899
Pixel 6 Pro: From $899 / £849 / €899
The Pixel 7 Pro starts at $899. It costs the same as the Pixel 6 Pro did at launch. But since the Pixel 6 Pro has been on the market since late 2023, you can get it for far less on sale. That said, we’ve also started to see good deals on the Pixel 7 Pro already.
The pricing of the 256GB and 512GB variants also stays the same. The former comes in at $999, while the latter will set you back $1,099.
The Pixel 7 Pro is available from Google, Amazon, Best Buy, and all the major carriers. The story is similar with the Pixel 6 Pro, although it will slowly become harder and harder to get once retailers and carriers start running out of stock.
Times are tight at the moment, with bills on the rise and supermarket shops getting more expensive by the day. Pensions aren’t getting any larger for those on or nearing retirement – but there are ways for you to unlock finances for later life without borrowing money you don’t have, one major example of which is equity release. But what is equity release, and how exactly does it work?What is Equity Release?
In essence, equity release enables you to unlock the value of your biggest investment without having to sell it; the value of the loan can be recouped via monthly repayments, or the sale of the home when you move out or enter long-term care. Equity releases are paid back with interest, but you can choose to pay for just the interest in order to make the most of your money.How Do People Utilise Equity Release?
Equity release, whichever scheme is chosen, enables you and your partner the freedom to live in your property right up until you move out, or pass away. Free from the worries of subsisting on pension payments alone, you are able to use your equity to live life comfortably, or afford passion projects and life experiences you may not otherwise have been able to.
What to Consider Before Releasing Equity
While releasing equity can make a significant difference to your quality of living, it is a serious decision to make with a number of potential ramifications. Borrowing the entirety of your home’s equity in one can result in extensive interest payments down the line, as compound interest on your property’s value guarantees a large sum of interest over time.
Amazon is known for its place as the biggest online retailer in the world, but over the years the company has been investing into other areas of interest, the latest of which is said to be 5G technology.
5G is seen as the future of the tech industry and given Amazon’s role in this industry, it’s no surprise that stories of Amazon 5G are also popping up. What is interesting, though, is why a giant online retailer like Amazon would want to be part of the 5G story that is predominantly a telecommunications thing. But for sure, we’ll find out sooner or later.
That said, let’s check out the stories doing rounds about Amazon 5G and the potential of joining the future telecommunications industry.
Amazon and Boost Mobile
Stories of Amazon 5G started showing up after reports emerged that Amazon could buy Boost Mobile from T-Mobile and Sprint to form a fourth carrier that’s needed to see through the much-talked-about merger between the latter two.
The facts that Amazon buying Boost Mobile would allow the retailer to use New T-Mobiles wireless network for 6+ years as well as acquire any wireless spectrum that could be divested are said to be playing a major role in Amazons desire to join the telecommunications industry.
Boost is said to have about 8 million active users, which could be a great starting point for Amazon 5G. Apparently, Amazon will have to pay about $3 billion for this, although the figure could rise to $4.5 billion including wireless spectrum.
Amazon phone calling experience
Amazon started out selling books and has since grown into a one-stop shop for all your shopping needs. The company is also known for not shying away from trying out new ventures – efforts that have led it to offer phone calls via its Echo Connect.
Here, Echo Connect uses your home phone service to allow smart voice speakers that use Alexa to place phone calls. This means the retailer has been building experience already, with the acquisition of a wireless network probably the last piece in the puzzle.
Amazon cloud services
What better way of doing this than taking on carriers like Verizon via a channel that will also take it a giant step ahead of rival cloud providers like Microsoft?
5G-enabled Amazon devices
Amazon has a wide range of devices already selling in the market and apparently, it’s expected to come in with 5G-enabled devices in the future. When these devices arrive, Amazon wants them to connect to its cloud where data is stored and in the event that it also controls wireless network, customers will be able to buy a complete package of 5G devices from one place and vendor
Analyst Colby Synesael believes the idea behind Amazon acquiring Boost Mobile is that “it expects 5G to be integral to cloud services in the future for industries like healthcare and autos, which will use 5G-enabled devices.”
Amazon 5G rumors are also showing up at a time when Amazon in May 2023 revealed plans to set up more than 3000 satellites that will provide internet access to rural places across the globe.
It isn’t the first time that Amazon would be attempting something similar. Over a decade ago, the retailer launched the first Kindle reading device that let users connect to the company’s Whispernet 3G wireless service and download books over the air.
In 2014, the Fire Phone was unveiled to take on the iPhone, but we all know how that turned out.
Whatever Amazon 5G is all about is still a mystery for now, but we’ll definitely get new details about it in the coming weeks.
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