Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are already here and just like last year, the phone comes with a bunch of exclusive features like the all new Pixel launcher, Motion photos, Now playing feature and a lot more. If you’re just itching to try out all of the Pixel 2’s exclusive features but can’t really buy one, well we’ve got some good news for you. Today we are going to tell you how you can get Pixel 2’s exclusive features on your Android smartphone. Let’s get started.
The Pixel 2 comes with a set of some really great live wallpapers. My personal favorite being the waves crashing on a beach one, Google calls calming coastline. Fortunately, you can get these live wallpapers on your Android phone as well. XDA-developers has the collection of Pixel live wallpapers available for download on any device running Marshmallow or above. Just download the APK and install it on your phone, then from the wallpaper picker on your phone head over to Live wallpapers and choose the one you like. There are a lot of great ones to choose from. A walk in the clouds has a great perspective of a Hawaiian road and the world comes to you live wallpaper is simply mesmerizing. Click the link below to get APK from XDA-Developers.
Moving on, the Pixel 2 has a redesigned home screen with the Google search bar at the very bottom and a widget on the top that shows upcoming events. Getting this on your Android phone is easy too. While you can simply install a cracked pixel launcher APK to get a Pixel 2 like Home Screen, it doesn’t really come with a lot of customization which is why we have used Nova Launcher to do this. In Nova Launcher settings, head over to Dock. Here tap on Search bar in Dock and choose Below icons. Also tap on Dock background and disable it. Then go to Desktop and tap on Search bar style. Under Bar style choose the one with the rounded corners and pick the color G as the logo style. If you already have a Google widget on the home screen, make sure you remove that or you’ll end up with two, and well that’s just weird. To get the At a glance widget, we will be using an app called Another widget. Once you have downloaded and installed it, launch the app and set the first row text size to 20 SP and set the second row text size to 12 SP. Scroll down and tap on see your events to give the app access to your calendar. Tap on control the weather to give the app access to weather information. Then, simply add the Another widget widget to the top of your Home Screen. See our customized Home Screen looks almost identical to the Pixel 2, complete with the widgets, the search bar and the wallpaper. You can get apps from the links below.
The Pixel 2 has the classic Pixel navigation bar as well. We’re using an app called Pixel navigation bar in order to get this feature on our Nexus 5x. There are other apps you can use as well but I personally found Pixel navigation bar to be the easiest to use. All we need to do is install the app and enable it. In case the new icons do not match up properly, you can use the arrow buttons in the app to adjust their position and even change the size if needed. Also I’d suggest you turn off the Add rounded corners to NAV by settings but that’s totally your call.
Now, the navigation bar on my phone looks completely like the one on the Pixel 2 and it even has the cool pixel animation when pressing the home button. Get app from the link below.
Next up is the all new Now playing feature in the Pixel 2. The feature uses ambient services to identify songs playing around the smartphone and display them in the ambient display. While replicating this functionality exactly isn’t possible yet, there are alternatives we can use. Shazam is a great alternative to have your phone always listen for music around you. Simply install the app and press and hold the Shazam button, when prompted turn on Auto Shazam.
Your phone will now continuously listen for music around it, automatically recognize it and keep it saved in your Shazam history. Get Shazam app from here – Shazam App
Always on Display
Always on displays can either be really useful or really distracting. Personally, I don’t really find them that useful but if you want this specific Pixel 2 feature on your Android phone, Always on AMOLED is a great app to go with. After installing, just enable the service, give it the required permissions and you have a great Always on display working on your phone. There are a number of settings you can tweak. And if you unlock the pro version, it can let you do a lot more. So, this is what I’ve set up my Always on display to look like. It’s clean and minimal, just how I like it. Get app from here – Always On AMOLED
Motion photos are Google’s take on the iPhone’s live photos and they work really well. While the feature is available in the Google camera app, it hasn’t been ported to other devices, which is why we will be using camera MX app. In camera MX app, just tap on the icon that has 3 dots, select Live shot and click a picture.
Camera MX automatically saves the picture in the form of a motion photo. You can then tap and hold on it to see it animate. It’s really cool. The feature is paid but you can try it out a couple of times before purchasing the app. Google’s very own Motion Stills app is also a good option to go with. But I prefer Camera MX’s implementation more. Download apps from the links below-
Another great feature exclusive to the Pixel 2 is AR stickers. The AR stickers are really awesome, you can place them anywhere in your surroundings and they interact with you and each other. To get a similar feature on your Android phone, we’d suggest the app Holo. With HOLO you get access to quite a lot of AR models that you can place in your surroundings. You can then proceed to take pictures with them or shoot videos with the AR models around you. The app is free and you can use AR stickers of Spiderman, Donald Trump, Alpacas and a lot more. Download the app from here – HOLO App
Let’s move on to Google lens which is basically like Google goggles from back in the day but on steroids with superpowers. Google lens is currently only available in the Google Photos app exclusively on the Pixel. And you can easily get it on any rooted android smartphone. Simply head over to the link in below and flash the zip file from a custom recovery and you’re all set. With Google lens flashed on a phone, you can simply open any photo in Google photos, tap on the Google lens icon and it will analyze and recognize the objects in the photo to show relevant results and similar images. It isn’t perfect but it will definitely become better with time. Download Google Lens flashable zip from here – Google Lens Flashable Zip
Bluetooth Device Battery Level
Starting with Android 8.1, Pixel and Nexus smartphones are also getting the ability to show battery levels of connected Bluetooth devices. This feature comes in very handy especially if you are like me and use Bluetooth headphones all the time. Fortunately, there’s an app that you can use for this as well, and it’s called BatON. With BatON installed on your phone, you’ll have a notification displaying the battery level of any Bluetooth device connected to your smartphone. So, when I connect my headphones, I can see the amount of battery remaining in there. Get it here – BatON
The Google pixel 2 also does this cool little thing – selecting a dark wallpaper changes the system theme to a dark one as well and it looks really great. You can get that on your phone too but the process is a little lengthy. XDA-Developers.com has a detailed article on the same that you can check out from the link given below. Click here for tutorial.
With all of that done and dusted, this is basically what my phone now looks and feels like. It’s quite similar to the Pixel 2 and I especially like the Home Screen setup, the At a glance widget is really useful and as you can see it’s telling me that I have a meeting tomorrow, something I need to prepare for.
So, we’ll wrap this up now. That’s how you can get Pixel 2 exclusive features on your Android smartphone. So, what do you think about the Pixel 2? Do let us know in the comment section below. Enjoy, have fun!