Sep 7th, 2020 publishUpdated   Sep 10th, 2020, 10:37 pm

Google’s Pixel 4a was launched not too long ago and it seems to herald Google’s return to the good old days of affordable Nexus handsets. The Pixel 4a is a more than capable smartphone if you’re not too fussed about performance and having the latest technology or features.

So now that you’re on board the Pixel 4a bandwagon and you’re holding the phone in your hands, what’s next? If you’re new to the Pixel smartphone lineup or to Android or simply want to know how to setup your phone for the best experience, you’ll definitely want to read on to find out.

Setup your fingerprint sensor

Our phones are reasonably protected through PIN codes and pattern unlocks, but it’s really hard to beat biometric security since that one is completely unique to you. If you skipped the fingerprint setup process when you first turned on the device, you can always set it up again:

  • Go to Settings > Security > Pixel Imprint and follow the instructions on the screen

Buy a case to brighten up the design

Unlike most smartphones these days, the Pixel 4a is built with a polycarbonate body rather than metal and glass. This means the phone is less likely to break if you drop it, but it will still get tended and scratched up pretty easily. Buy a case will not only give added protection for the Pixel 4a, but it will also brighten up the phone’s design a bit since Google really didn’t spend much time making the phone look pretty. Below are a fe case options that will keep the phone looking new while also make it look just a bit more interesting.

Use the new gesture navigation system

These days as smartphones are trying to go edge-to-edge with their displays, it means that companies need to find new ways of introducing new navigation options that will take advantage of these new larger displays. With Android, Google has introduced new gesture based navigation that might need some getting used to if you’re more familiar with the three-button system, but it could still be worth taking a look anyway.

  • Go to Settings > System > Gestures > System Navigation > Gesture navigation
  • You can repeat the steps above and select 3-button navigation if you want to go back to the old school ways

Customize your phone with widgets

One of the awesome features of Android is the ability to customize the home screen to your desired liking, which includes widgets that you might find useful and want to be able to access at a glance.

  • From the home screen on your Pixel 4a tap and hold on an empty space, tap widgets select the widgets you want on your home screen.

Change up your home screen’s style and wallpapers

Not a fan of the default wallpaper that comes loaded on your Pixel 4a? Then maybe it might be time to change that up, or maybe even change the style of the icons to create something that’s a bit more unique to you and more up your alley. Google has actually kind of changed the way users can access these customizability features.

  1. Go to your home screen
  2. Tap and hold on the home screen
  3. Select Styles & wallpapers
  4. You can now quickly choose new wallpapers for your home, or like we said, you can even change icon shape, colors, or even the font on your phone

Rearrange your quick settings

The idea behind quick settings is that you get to access certain settings on your phone quickly, but sometimes the original layout might not have the settings that you want to access quickly. Thankfully you can change that to give yourself shortcuts to settings that you actually want.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen
  2. Swipe down again to pull up the entire list of settings
  3. Tap the pencil icon towards the bottom left corner
  4. Press and hold on any of the icons and drag them around
  5. Note that top six icons will be the ones that are displayed in quick settings, so make sure that the settings you want to quickly access are part of the first six icons

Turn on battery percentage

Given how small the battery icon is, it’s hard to tell exactly how much battery life you have left. Having a percentage shown to you will make it easier to know when you should charge your phone, and to do this you need to enable battery percentage.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Battery
  3. Under Battery percentage tap the toggle to turn it on

Turn off adaptive battery

One of the newer features of Android is called Adaptive Battery. According to Google, this is designed to help prolong the battery of your smartphone by using Alphabet’s DeepMind AI technology to understand and predict the apps you use frequently and which you don’t. Based on that, it will automatically disable the background process of apps it thinks you don’t use often.

It sounds good and promising, but sometimes it can be troublesome as you might have to wait for certain apps to load up again, which you can now get around it by turning the feature off.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Battery
  3. Tap on Adaptive Battery
  4. Tap on the toggle to turn it off
  5. Repeat the steps above to turn it back on if you’re finding that your phone is draining battery faster than you’d like

Schedule dark theme

In recent versions of Android, Google has finally introduced a dark mode to its mobile operating system, a long-awaited and much-asked for feature. Similar to the iOS version of dark mode, users can either turn it on or off manually, or set it on a schedule so that it can automatically turn on or off by itself.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Go to Display
  3. Tap on Dark theme
  4. Tap Turn on until sunrise

Right now there is no way to set an actual time so sunrise and sunset will depend on your location and timezone.

Change your display’s colors

Right out of the box, the Pixel 4a’s color profile is set to “Adaptive”. This means that the color (not the brightness) changes depending on the environment, apps, and so on. For the most part it’s not particularly noticeable when switching between colors, but in case you prefer a more consistent look, you can choose between two other options.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Go to Display
  3. Select Colors
  4. You can now choose between Natural and Boosted, or keep it at Adaptive
  5. Repeat the steps above to change the color profiles again

Setup your Do Not Disturb profile

You’ve had a long day at the office answering calls, messages, and emails, and when you’re home you just want a little peace and quiet. Instead of turning your phone off, you can schedule your Do Not Disturb profile to turn on or off depending on your needs, so that you won’t get any notifications during that period of time.

  1. Go to your Settings
  2. Go to Sound
  3. Tap on Do Not Disturb
  4. Now you can edit the profile where you can set a schedule, set exceptions for certain contacts, choose whether you want notifications shown, hidden, or partially hidden, and so on

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