Got a new Pixel Watch or Pixel Watch 2? Google’s Wear OS smartwatches include many valuable features that you may not be aware of. Here, we’ll reveal them to help you get the most out of your Pixel Watch.
1. Customization of the training screen
If you like to track your workouts, you should first customize your watch’s workout screen. This way you can show important stats at the top while moving the rest to the bottom or hiding them. You can have a custom training screen for each activity.
Follow these instructions to customize the training screen:
- Open Fitbit exercise app on your Pixel Watch 2.
- Select the activity whose training screen you want to customize.
- Press settings icon to the left of the start or play button.
- Choose Statistics are displayed from the Customize menu.
- You get four places that you can rearrange according to importance. To change the data displayed in a location, tap on it and select one of the many available options.
Training screen customization is the only feature on this list that’s limited to the Pixel Watch 2; the original model lacks this.
2. Sync Bedtime mode with your Pixel phone
Have you set bedtime mode on your Android phone? If so, you’ll want your Pixel Watch to sync with it and make sure your sleep isn’t disturbed. Likewise, you might want Do Not Disturb to sync across your phone and watch so you’re not distracted by incoming notifications while you’re in a meeting.
You can set this in the Pixel Watch app. Simply go to Notifications section and ensure that Synchronize between the watch and the phone the setting is enabled.
Note that if you’ve paired your Pixel Watch with a non-Pixel phone (like a Samsung device), you won’t be able to sync bedtime between the two devices.
3. Emergency SOS for assistance
If you haven’t already, the first thing you should do after pairing a Pixel Watch with your phone is to set up Emergency SOS. The function allows you to quickly contact the emergency services during a life-threatening situation. You can trigger Emergency SOS by pressing the crown five times.
Follow the steps below to set up Emergency SOS on your Pixel Watch:
- Swipe down on the screen of your Pixel Watch 2 to bring up the Quick Settings panel. Press settings icon from here.
- Scroll down and select Safety & Emergency.
- Scroll down and tap Emergency SOS under Features.
- Activate Urgent gesture switch.
- In the same menu, you can scroll down and select emergency contact or emergency services and enable or disable the countdown alarm.
- Go back to Emergency SOS menu. Navigate to the bottom and tap Emergency site service.
- Activate Use emergency service switch.
From the same Safety & Emergency you can also activate the menu Fall detection and Access to emergency information on your Pixel Watch. It’s worth taking the time to set up security and emergency features on your Pixel phone, too.
4. Hassle-free screenshots
Taking screenshots on some Wear OS watches is a pain, as you have to use the included app on your phone for this. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with the Pixel Watch or Pixel Watch 2.
You just need to press the side button and the crown at the same time to take a screenshot. A screenshot prompt will appear on the paired phone, which you can tap to share the image.
Note that if you do not act on the notification, your device will not save the screenshot. This is a significant limitation as it prevents you from taking multiple screenshots back to back.
5. Native Cloud Backups
Backing up the data on your Pixel Watch at regular intervals will make recovery much easier when you change devices or in the event of an unfortunate event that requires a reset.
Wear OS 4 and later includes a built-in cloud backup option, making backing up your Pixel Watch much easier:
- Open the Pixel Watch app on the paired phone.
- Navigate to System > Backup and Restore.
- Turn on Google One Backup here.
You can also enable cloud backup directly from your Pixel Watch by navigating to Settings > System > Backup.
Your watch will automatically switch back to the linked Google account when it’s charged and connected to Wi-Fi. You can find the latest backup information from the same settings page.
6. Mirror directions for Google Maps
Want to use your Pixel Watch to navigate with Google Maps? Using the Google Maps app on your phone to get directions does not automatically reflect the instructions on the watch. You must enable mirroring manually by following these steps:
- Open the Google Maps app on your Pixel Watch.
- Scroll down and select settings.
- Tap Reflection from the menu that opens.
- Enable navigation mirroring for Driving, Walkingand Cycling.
The next time you use Google Maps to navigate to a location on your phone, the Maps app on your Pixel Watch will reflect the directions.
7. Handy Google Assistant Tile
Do you often use Google Assistant to control your smart home devices or set an alarm? Use the Google Assistant box to add a shortcut to your frequently used voice commands for quick access. That way, you can simply tap the shortcut in the box to trigger the action instead of calling Google Assistant every time.
You can only have one Assistant tile with two shortcut actions, which can feel limiting – especially if you rely heavily on the voice assistant.
Access the Google Assistant tile by swiping left or right on the watch face and cycling through all available tiles. If you don’t see it, long press the screen and add the Assistant box.
It’s worth noting that Google Assistant will rely on your phone to process the command, so the action won’t be triggered immediately when you tap the shortcut on the tile.
If you’re walking through an unsafe area or traveling alone and are worried about your safety, you can use the security check on your Pixel Watch for peace of mind.
To take advantage of it, you must set a check-in timer at the end of which you must confirm that you are OK. If you do not provide confirmation, your location will automatically be shared with your designated emergency contacts.
When you start a security check, you can choose whether to walk alone, run, hike or take transport. After this, you can set a time and decide whether you want to notify your emergency contacts about this. Similarly, when you confirm your security at the end of the timer, you can choose to let your contacts know for their confirmation.
You can set up and configure Security Control from Settings > Security & emergency > Security control. Keep in mind that the security check requires emergency sharing to work properly. Set it up later on your Pixel Watch by going to Settings > Security & Emergency > Emergency Sharing.
Security features like this make the Pixel Watch one of the best Wear OS watches to own. Because the Pixel Watch has so many handy features, it’s possible that you don’t know all of them, which can prevent you from using your wearable to its full potential. Now that you are aware of all the lesser known features, you can use some of them and get your money’s worth.
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