News: You Can Now Turn Pixel's 'App Shortcuts' into Their Own Home Screen Icons

One of our favorite features on the Pixel Launcher is its App Shortcuts, which work a lot like Apple's 3D Touch for iOS or Huawei's Force Touch. Instead of using pressure sensitivity to call up static and dynamic shortcut menus for apps, Launcher Shortcuts relied on a simple long-press. Now, in the Android 7.1 update for Pixels, there's an update to App Shortcuts that let's you pin shortcut options directly to your home screen for even quicker access.

News: Google Pixel's Pros & Cons

Whatever you think of Google's new Pixel phones, the one thing we know for sure is that these are the most polarizing devices in recent memory. On the one hand, we've seen reviews in which longtime Android users say they'll be walking away from the OS all together thanks to Pixel. On the other hand, you've got the iPhone-obsessed David Pierce over at WIRED saying he'll be switching immediately.

News: The Pixel Exemplifies Google's New Hardware Philosophy—To Do It Right, Do It Yourself

Android device manufacturers may see the new Pixel "Phone By Google" devices as just another competitor, one that likely won't upset their entry-level margins. But that would be a mistake. Pixel is Google's call to action. With Google now offering as near to perfect an Android experience as we've had so far, OEMs that want to keep selling smartphones in a world flooded with them will need to start working for the privilege.

How To: Fix Stuck or Dead Pixels on Almost Any Screen

If you've noticed a tiny discolored spot on your computer screen that just doesn't seem to go away, chances are you have a stuck pixel. With modern LCD and OLED screens, there are millions of incredibly small dots (pixels) that make up all of the contents of your display—and within these pixels, there is a set of red, green and blue subpixels. These mix together at various levels to create all of the different colors you see.

PSA: If You're Having Auto-Focus Issues on Your Pixel, It's Probably Your Case's Fault

According to multiple users on Reddit, the Pixel and Pixel XL's camera can have some serious auto-focus issues if you're using a certain type of case with Google's new flagships. When the problem occurs, your camera app will refuse to settle on a focus point, making almost everything in the frame blurry. Redditor HeshoMike uploaded a video of the phenomenon, and you can see it in action here:

How To: Center Your Pixel XL's Status Bar Clock, iPhone-Style

There's one thing that I've always liked about iPhones, and that's their centered digital clock in the status bar at the top of the screen. On Android, it's always on the right side by default, and there's no easy setting that lets you just change it to the center position. But if you have a Google Pixel XL, there's a simple modification you can perform to get exactly that—a centered status bar clock.

How To: Get the Pixel's Fingerprint Swipe Notification Gesture on Other Devices

Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones have a feature that puts their fingerprint scanners to use after you unlock your phone—just swipe down on the scanner from any screen, then you'll see your notifications. It keeps you from having to do hand gymnastics to reach the status bar at the top of your screen, and it gives you easy access to quick information, so it's a win-win.

How To: Install Android O on Your Pixel or Nexus Right Now

Android O has finally arrived—well, it's technically a beta version, but that isn't stopping Android enthusiasts from going crazy about it. The first Developer Preview was released earlier today and is available right now to install on Nexus and Pixel devices. While Android O doesn't have an official name or Android number yet (we're betting on "Android Oreo"), Google has released a feature list and a blog post explaining almost all of the new changes and features.

How To: Buy a USB Type-C Cable That Won't Fry the Battery on Your Nexus, MacBook, or Pixel

Ready or not, the USB-C cable is about to take over your electronics. The new industry standard is fully reversible and packed with enough power to serve as a laptop charger or an HDMI cable, so it actually has the potential to replace every cord, wire, and connector in your house. In fact, the conversion has already started: The latest MacBook, Chromebook Pixel, and Nexus phones are sporting USB-C connectors out of the box.

How To: Save Battery When Streaming YouTube Audio on Your Galaxy, Pixel, or Other AMOLED Device

If your phone has an AMOLED display, it doesn't waste any battery to power black portions of the screen. This is because the individual pixels that make up an AMOLED screen emit their own light, which means the backlight you'd find behind a traditional LCD screen is not present. In other words, showing a full-screen black image on an AMOLED phone is like turning your display completely off.

How To: The 5 Best Phones for Rooting & Modding

According to a study done by internet provider Tencent, a whopping 27.44% of Android users root their phones. With over 1.4 billion Android devices out there, that works out to somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 million rooted phones and tablets. In other words, there may very well be more rooted Android devices than there are Americans, so root nation is an important demographic that deserves being catered to.

How To: The 4 Best Phones for Privacy & Security

Cell phones—particularly smartphones—are inherently bad for privacy. You've basically got a tracking device in your pocket, pinging off cell towers and locking onto GPS satellites. All the while, the handset's data connection ensures that tracking cookies, advertising IDs, and usage stats follow you around the internet.

How To: The 5 Best Phones for Video Chat

Video chatting has become an important factor in the overall smartphone experience. Even just a few years ago, 37% of teens were making video calls on a regular basis, and that number has surely grown. 85% of households with infants have used video chat apps to call relatives in other cities, and it's been shown that toddlers can create bonds and learn from visual cues in video calls.

How To: Google Actually Has 4 Different 'Assistants'—Here's the Best One for You

The new Google Assistant is only officially available on three platforms—newer Android phones (Pixels and those running Marshmallow and Nougat), the Google Allo app, and Google Home. However, most of the Assistant's basic functionality is also bundled into the Google app for Android and iOS, which used to go by the name Google Now, but is now referred to only as Screen Search or your Google app's Feed.

News: Christmas Is Coming Early! Android 7.1 Beta Is Hitting Nexus Devices This Month

Google's new Pixel phones will ship with Android 7.1 Nougat pre-installed, but early reports stated that Nexus devices wouldn't be getting the new version until "end of year" 2016. For people that purchased a Nexus 5X or 6P under the assumption that Nexus devices get Android updates first, the fact that the Pixels could be getting 7.1 a full two months ahead of them felt like a slap in the face.