How to Arrange Your Google Phone Home Screen
With every new update comes more possibilities for customizing the look and feel of your device. This is especially true for Google Pixel phones, which have a lot of different options for arranging your home screen.
Android 12 brings a feature to Pixel phones that makes it easy to see information about a song playing in the background. You can also set up the phone to pause or dismiss alarms without having to say “Hey Google.”
App suggestions first debuted in the app drawer in Android 10 and have since expanded to your home screen dock. This feature makes it easier to get to the apps you need throughout the day, like the workout app you use before work or the TV streaming service for your relaxing evenings.
If you don’t want the predictive shortcuts on your home screen dock, they’re easy to disable. Long press a spot on your home screen to view your options and click the “Suggestions on Home screen” toggle to remove them.
If you change your mind and want to add the app suggestions back, simply open the options and click the “Suggestions in App Drawer” and “Suggestions on Home screen” options to reenable them. You can also create folders to group your apps together for an organized home screen layout. Long press two apps and drag them above each other to create a folder, which will display a customized icon and name for your convenience.
The new Android 12 update will be arriving on Pixel 3 phones and will bring with it a handy feature for anyone who struggles to use their phone with just one hand. But if you don’t have the latest Google device, there are plenty of other options available that will let you make your phone easier to use with just one hand.
One-handed mode on your phone is easy to enable by heading into Settings and then going to System > Gestures. You’ll see a switch there to toggle on one-handed mode, which works like Apple’s Reachability feature. When you activate it, when you swipe down on the bottom of your screen the usable portion of your screen will shrink down so that upper elements within apps are easier to reach.
Other launchers also offer this, such as the free Niagara and Nova, which even lets you pin apps to the top of your home screen for quicker access. These features are all available on most Android devices and are worth looking into if you struggle to use your phone with just one hand.
Available on Pixel phones as part of Digital Wellbeing, Focus Mode is a tool designed to help curb hyper-distracting apps. It lets you select the apps that tend to distract you, then pauses them for as long as you set it up. Apps in Focus Mode appear grayed out on the home screen and app drawer, and they also stop sending notifications until you return to them.
This is more granular than Apple’s competing Downtime feature, which limits the number of apps you can enable for its periods of disconnection (and disables other types of notifications, too). The displacement effect — the idea that one activity will take our attention away from another — is real and a common problem.
You can set up multiple Focus modes, and the settings for each one can be customized in a number of ways. For example, you can choose to create a custom Home Screen page that’s the only one you’ll see for a given Focus mode, and you can use Smart Activation or the take-a-break button to quickly access blocked apps momentarily.
Google Pixel phones come with a feature called Night Light that tints your phone’s screen to reduce the amount of sleep-affecting blue light it emits. You can enable it manually or use the Quick Settings tile to set an automatic schedule for when it turns on and off.
It’s also known as Eye Comfort Shield on Samsung Galaxy devices, and it can be added to the Quick Settings panel for easy access. To toggle it on, swipe down once or twice (depending on your phone) to open the notification shade and then tap the Settings button.
From the Night Light menu, select ‘Turn on automatically’ and choose either Sunset to sunrise or Custom schedule. The former option uses your location to turn on the filter at sunset and deactivate it at sunrise, while the latter lets you specify a start time and end time. You can also adjust the opacity of the filter. This is a nice way to make your smartphone easier on the eyes at night without impacting power consumption or app compatibility.