The first 5 things you need to do with your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL

Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL launched on October 5th featuring some great new abilities such as Google Lens, as well as a load of other ways that let you personalize and customize the handset to your own taste. Join us after the break to find out how to turn on the Pixel 2’s Ambient Display (Always on Display), enable Double Tap, Now Playing, schedule the Night Light, and adjust the size of the content shown on the display.  

Ambient Display

Turning on the Ambient Display on your Pixel 2 will result in the time and date, charging state as well as notifications showing on the handsets’ lock screen.You’ll be able to see the time, date, notifications and which song is playing without having to touch the phone.Just navigate your way to Settings/Display/Advanced and tap on Ambient Display. You can now toggle between the Ambient Display turning on when the display is double-tapped or lifted, and you can choose to keep it Always On. Switching Ambient Display on will impact on the battery life of your handset to a marginal degree.

Double Tap

If Ambient Display isn’t to your liking, you can always choose to use Double-tap instead which will display the lock screen with all its information after you’ve firmly tapped the display twice. Get to Settings/Display/Advanced to enable Double-tap on your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. Once you’ve used it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Now Playing

One of the nifty tricks of Android 8 Oreo is the ability to detect which song is playing in the background and to display the name of the song and band on the lock screen. Simply open Settings, Security & Location, Lock Screen Preferences and then tap on Now Playing. You can now choose to enable the service on your lock screen as well as allowing notifications.

Enable Night Light

Recent studies say that the blue light emitted from our smartphone displays actually inhibits our ability to get a good nights sleep, so it’s probably to avoid it as much as we can. This brings us to the Pixel 2’s Night Light which places an amber tint on the display, making it easier to look at. This option can be enabled via Settings, Display, and then selecting the Night Light tab. You’ll then be able to choose to have the Night Light turn on and off automatically at a time suitable to your needs, to turn it on or off manually, and also to adjust the tint to your personal preferences.

Adjust icon and screen size

Some of us have better eyesight than others, which makes the trick of adjusting the size of icons and the display extremely handy. Open up Settings, Display, and then choose Display Size where you be able to adjust the slider along to make everything on the screen larger or smaller. Icons and widgets may change position in relation to how your layout changes in size.

That’s all for now, but keep your eyes peeled for more tips and tricks for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.


About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Huawei P10 and a Galaxy Tab S2 8.0. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).


  • bennycop

    First thing you do is blow the mic :)

    • Peter Holden

      Good one haha.