Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (2024)

Ahead of Google I/O, the search giant launched the latest mid-ranger in the Pixel lineup – the Pixel 8a. It brings the best of the Pixel 8 lineup, such as Android 14, seven years of OS updates, AI add-ons, Tensor G3, and more, in an affordable, colorful package. It's one of the best budget Android phones available. If you bought a Pixel 8a or plan to order one, check these top tips and tricks to get the most out of your latest purchase.

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1 Customize the home screen

The default home screen setup is basic on Pixel 8a. However, there isn't a shortage of customization options in Pixel UI. Let's quickly glance over them.

  1. Long-tap the Pixel 8a home screen and select Wallpaper and style.
  2. Change the wallpaper, tweak the Material You theme based on an applied wallpaper, activate themed icons, and tweak app grids.
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (2)
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (3)

Google offers a bunch of live, life, art, Earth, and community wallpapers to choose from. However, it misses out on awesome AI wallpapers. The search giant is expected to make them available with future updates.

2 Try Circle to Search

Pixel 8a is jam-packed with AI features. One such popular add-on is Circle to Search, which lets you find relevant information in no time. You no longer need to switch between apps. Check it in action using the steps below.

  1. Open a web page or any app and long-tap the navigation bar at the bottom.
  2. It activates Circle to Search. Tap an image, text, or video to search for what you are looking for.
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (4)
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (5)

The system searches for the same on Google. Swipe up from the bottom to check the results.

3 Unlock apps with Face Unlock

Thanks to the Tenson G3 and advanced machine learning algorithms, you can use Pixel 8a Face Unlock for NFC transactions, banking, and app signs. Here's how to turn it on.

  1. Open Settings and scroll to Security & Privacy.
  2. Select Device unlock.
  3. Tap Fingerprint & Face Unlock.
  4. Tap Face Unlock to register your face.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  6. Turn on the Verify it's you in apps toggle.
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (8)

4 Use Focus mode

Focus mode lets you pause distracting apps and hide their notifications. Follow the steps below to activate and customize it.

  1. Open Settings and scroll to Digital Wellbeing and parental controls.
  2. Tap Focus mode.
  3. Tap Turn on now and customize your distracting apps list.
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (9)
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (10)

You can set up Bedtime mode from the same menu.

5 Use Audio Magic Eraser

Audio Magic Eraser eliminates distracting sounds like wind, crowd, traffic noise, and more from the background to deliver crisp and clear audio in a video. The option is built into the Google Photos app and works on any video.

  1. Open Google Photos and select a video.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Slide to Audio and select Audio Eraser.
  4. The system identifies the types of audio in a video.
  5. Select audio waveform and buttons to limit noise.
  6. You can also choose Auto to improve the video's sound.
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (13)

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6 Customize the Pixel 8a lock screen

Android 14 brought lock screen customization to the Pixel series. Here's how to decorate your Pixel 8a with different clock styles and app actions.

  1. Open the Wallpaper and style menu (refer to the steps above).
  2. Select Lock screen.
  3. Glance at the different clock types and sizes and apply shortcuts in the bottom corners.
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (15)
    Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (16)

You can select Camera, DND, Home, Mute, Torch, QR code scanner, and Video camera as quick toggles.

7 Enable Clear Calling

Clear Calling eliminates noise on active calls and elevates the call quality experience for all participants. Go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Clear Calling and turn on the toggle from the following menu. Check out our separate post to learn more about Clear Calling on Pixel phones.

Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (17)
Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (18)

8 Enable Live Translate

Live Translate detects other languages and shows you translations in the same app. You need to activate it and download relevant languages on your Pixel 8a. Navigate to Settings > System > Live Translate and turn on the toggle. Tap Add a language to download more languages for Live Translate.

Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (19)
Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (20)

9 Tweak Quick Tap settings

Quick Tap is one of the overlooked features of the Pixel UI. You can double-tap the back of your Pixel phone to take a screenshot, access a digital assistant, play/pause media, and more. Open Settings on your Pixel 8a and go to System > Gestures > Quick Tap to start actions. Turn on the gesture and pick a relevant action from the bottom menu.

Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (21)
Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (22)

10 Check if someone's tracking you

The rise of Bluetooth trackers has raised concerns about user privacy and safety. Google offers a neat security option to detect a nearby unknown tracker. The option is activated by default, but you can perform a scan manually.

Navigate to Settings > Security and privacy > Device finders > Unknown tracker alerts menu. Turn on the Allow alerts toggle and trigger a manual scan from the same menu. Now, you can easily spot unknown stalkers traveling with you.

Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (23)
Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (24)

The Pixel 8a is more capable than you think

These useful tips will get you started with the Pixel 8a. It comes with a class-leading seven years of OS updates, and, with frequent Feature Drops, your sub-$500 device will only get better from here. Your Pixel 8a comes with a robust Google Camera out of the box. Check out our dedicated post to learn the top Pixel camera app features.

Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (25)
Google Pixel 8a

The Pixel 8a wants you to forget the Pixel 8 ever existed. With some crucial upgrades over its predecessor, including a brighter display, faster processor, and larger battery, Google's latest mid-range smartphone is the perfect combo of speed and AI smarts. And with seven years of OS upgrades, it's the longest lasting $500 smartphone you can find today.

$499 at Google Store$499 at Amazon$499 at Best Buy

Google Pixel 8a: 10 top tips and tricks to help you get the most from your phone (2024)
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