While there is undoubtedly a lot of science that goes into making your Pixel water resistant, the ratings we currently see on our devices are not an exact science. Depending on what rating you see and what you’re told, it can get a little confusing. So is your Google Pixel waterproof or water-resistant? Here’s what you need to know.
What does your IP rating mean?
For every device, a dust and water resistance rating is released with it. It can range anywhere from IP00 to IP69K, with IP00 being unable to resist any dust or water in any capacity at all and the latter being completely water and dust-proof, even under pressure.
When it comes to smartphones, you’ll likely never see an IP00 rating simply because having an enclosure around the internals dictates at least some amount of water and dust resistance. More often than not, you’re looking at ratings around IP67 and IP68. So what does that mean?
Dust and solid object resistance
Well, the IP rating is split into two numbers – the first and second digit. The second number the first number after “IP” is the amount of resistance to dust and hazardous objects, with 6 being the highest. An IP6X rating means that your device is completely resistant to “dust ingress,” which basically means you don’t have to worry about dropping it in dirt and having any particle enter the enclosure of your Pixel. Most of Google’s Pixels have an IP6X rating, so this isn’t so much of a worry.
The second number after “IP” is the rating against liquid. Most devices now rate somewhere between a 6 and 8. If your IP rating is IPX6, your device is able to resist something equivalent to a harsh 12.5mm wide stream of water from any direction; where the line starts to get blurred is at IPX7 and IPX8. A lot of devices fall into one of these categories.
At IPX7, you’re looking for two qualifying resistance factors. The phone is able to withstand being submerged up to 1 meter for less than 30 minutes. At IPX8, your device can withstand more than 1 meter. Unfortunately, this could mean anywhere from 1 centimeter over a meter to 2 meters, with the exact rating being left up to the manufacturer.
Remember, these ratings are intended to represent water resistance, meaning the Google Pixel is not waterproof, only resistant up to a certain degree depending on the rating.
Rule of thumb
Since the latter rating is somewhat left up to the manufacturer to decide, here’s the general rule of thumb we recommend you exercise: if your Google Pixel has an IPX8 water resistant rating, avoid submerging over 1 meter anyways. Since this could mean that your device is protected at 3’1/8″, it’s much better to play it safe and pretend like you only have an IPX7 rating.
Does the IP rating stay the same throughout the Pixel’s life?
No. No, it does not.
Your Pixel’s IP rating, whether that’s IP67 or IP68, will not remain the same the whole time you have the phone – the rating is meant to represent what state the device is in when it left the factory. In fact, there are a few ways that the IP rating could take a dip. Anything from dropping the device to having the Pixel repaired could cause that IP rating to come down a bit.
The bits and pieces that makeup water and dust resistance also happen to be materials that are shock absorbing. This includes silicones and types of glue inside your Pixel. If your device does fall and take a hit, some of that glue could come loose, developing a weak spot in your Pixel’s water resistance rating.
What waterproofing rating is your Pixel?
As mentioned, Google’s line of Pixels usually falls in either the IP67 or IP68 rating, with newer phones being IP68. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t release an IP rating for some “a” series devices, such as the Pixel 4a or 3a. For these devices, it’s better to avoid water and dust altogether. Here’s the rating for your Google Pixel’s waterproofing:
Pixel 6 Pro – IP68
Pixel 6 – IP68
Pixel 5a – IP67
Pixel 5 – IP68
Pixel 4a – N/A
Pixel 4 – IP68
Pixel 4 XL – IP68
Pixel 3a – N/A
Pixel 3a XL – N/A
Pixel 3 – IP68
Pixel 3 XL – IP68
Pixel 2 – IP67
Pixel 2 XL – IP67
Pixel – IP53
Pixel XL – IP53
In all, it’s important to know what your Pixel can handle in terms of water and dust. To be on the side safe, even if your Google Pixel has an IP68 water resistant rating, don’t submerge your phone past 1 meter underwater if you can help it. Also, note that these ratings don’t stand true the whole lifespan of the device and can absolutely degrade over time.
Google has created a new emoji (variable) font with “Noto Emoji,” whose defining characteristic is a black-and-white design that tries to capture the “simplicity” of the format – and also happens to bring back the blobs.
Over time, emoji have become more detailed. Instead of representing broad concepts, there has been a trend to design emoji to be hyper realistic. This wouldn’t be a problem except skeuomorphism’s specificity has resulted in the exclusion of other similar concepts in your keyboard.
Google is bucking that trend toward realism with Noto Emoji by “removing as much detail as possible.” The goal with this set is to make emoji “more flexible, representing the idea of something instead of specifically what is in front of you.” For example, the dance emoji today clearly just represents one form of dancing to the detriment of other types.
Many resulted in 1:1 conversions, but there were several design challenges associated with simplification that prevented Google from just redrawing emoji in black-and-white, especially flags:
You can’t simply convert flags into black and white. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Finland and Sweden. You could redraw the flags but that puts them at risk of being incorrect. Instead, we leveraged the ISO’s country codes. These sequences of letters are unique and represent each country.
Meanwhile, people in Noto Emoji are represented using Google’s blob characters:
Relatable without maintaining a distinction between genders. Google’s blob emoji were really something special. Cute, squishy, and remarkably friendly. We were able to bring back a little bit of what made them special while simultaneously discarding the parts that weren’t working. Most notably, the blobs’ facial expressions were wildly inconsistent but that was very easily fixed in black and white mode.
That said, one modern aspect of Noto Emoji is how it is a variable font with a weight grade that lets characters appear “light” or “bold.” There are also dark and light modes as well as the ability to change text/character color, like all other fronts.
Noto Emoji is open-sourced and available from Google Fonts today. It supports the latest Unicode 14.0 specification with 3,663 emojis in total.
Dynamic Color today is implemented across most first-party Google apps on Android. During the development process, the Material Design team had to reconcile the wallpaper-derived color palette with those that were hard-coded by the application/developer. A recent blog explains the solution Material You arrived at.
Before Material 3 launched to the world, our cross-functional team worked inside Google to understand how teams envisioned their products with the new Material You design language. Several teams raised a challenge with dynamic color: changing colors depending on the user conflicted with products’ chosen colors, which were often semantic and needed to stay static.
Semantic colors are those that initiatively “express conventional meaning,” like how red is associated with stopping/ending. During Dynamic Color’s design process, Google says the “challenges with semantic colors became clear right away,” especially when the wallpaper-generated palette was similar to hues that were manually selected by app developers.
For example, imagine a smart home app where custom colors like yellow, orange, blue, green could be used to intuitively represent concepts like lighting, heating, cooling, and success. These could clash with the user color on the same screen, especially if that color can change.
Google ultimately decided to retain semantic colors but make them closer – either warmer or cooler – to a user’s Dynamic Color. This resulted in a more “harmonious” experience as governed by color theory. A threshold makes it so that a color’s identity remains – “a ‘yellow’ didn’t turn all the way to ‘green,’ and retained its semantic meaning.”
We found that harmonious semantic colors tended to be closer to the user color: semantic colors’ hue numbers were shifting around, making them slightly warmer or cooler. For example, in a blue dynamic scheme, semantic colors like red, orange and green all became cooler, moving closer to the cool hue of the blue user color.
Color is personal and deeply subjective. What one person is drawn to may be off-putting or unusable for another. In Material 3, dynamic color makes apps personal for each user, so apps can adapt to user choices, preferences and needs like expression and accessibility. Dynamic color is one way Material You carries out its ethos of respecting the user.
Dynamic color adapts to each person and upholds the Material You ethos of respecting the user.
When we think about the people in our lives, each has their own unique needs, tastes and relationship with technology. An app’s basic design goal is to be broadly usable and visually capture a company’s brand, which can neglect these unique needs and tastes. Dynamic color addresses this gap and emphasizes the user’s perspective by giving apps a color scheme from the user’s wallpaper.
A Material color scheme provides accent, neutral, and other colors to meet most product needs. Being dynamic, almost all of these colors can change to the user. An exception is the Error color: a red that communicates a failure state when used on an icon or label. We call representational colors like Error, which express conventional meaning, ‘semantic’ colors. Designers often choose semantic colors for their intuitive or cultural associations: think how red is associated with ‘stop’.
‘Semantic’ colors express conventional meaning, and intuitively represent concepts like ‘stop’.
Before Material 3 launched to the world, our cross-functional team worked inside Google to understand how teams envisioned their products with the new Material You design language. Several teams raised a challenge with dynamic color: changing colors depending on the user conflicted with products’ chosen colors, which were often semantic and needed to stay static. For example, imagine a transit app that takes colors from real-world signage or a weather app that uses colors to represent hot and cold temperatures.
This tension presented an opportunity to mature dynamic color—how might Material honor the end-user and product maker with a color system that respects both?
The challenges of algorithmic color
Dynamic color schemes in Material are algorithmic (generated from a set of rules) and derived from the user’s wallpaper.
Material’s new color system is algorithmic. This means that all colors that Material provides are generated from a set of rules, rather than the manual process of hand-picking colors that designers are used to. Even so, designers on the Material team explore colors by hand and evaluate them by eye before turning the colors that we like into an algorithm. This way, we preserve the human touch and sometimes unexpected decisions that create the best visual results.
Material designers also like to work collaboratively with makers using our system, whether that’s a team inside Google or an independent outside team. In this case, we brought together designers from other Google teams in a color workshop. During this, we explored how products’ own colors might fit into dynamic color: a world where the overall color scheme changes, according to the user’s wallpaper.
In a smart home app, specific semantic colors could be used to represent concepts like lighting and heating, which could clash with the user color scheme.
The challenges with semantic colors became clear right away. For example, imagine a smart home app where custom colors like yellow, orange, blue, green could be used to intuitively represent concepts like lighting, heating, cooling, and success. These could clash with the user color on the same screen, especially if that color can change.
Exploring colors by hand
Replacing semantic colors with the user scheme looked pleasing, but made apps that relied on semantic color harder to use.
At first, our designers explored replacing semantic colors with those from the wallpaper-based user scheme, but this made the state of one’s home difficult to parse. We didn’t want aesthetics to compromise giving users an easy and intuitive experience, so we needed to maintain distinguished colors in some way. Knowing this, we explored schemes where different semantic colors appeared visually pleasing and at home under the overall user wallpaper color scheme, largely by manually picking or adjusting them.
The design team needed to maintain different semantic colors while creating harmony in the color scheme overall.
This led to some pretty interesting and provocative color combinations. Ultimately, the most promising examples proved to be those in which the overall scheme appeared harmonious, while semantic colors’ original identity (‘a yellow’), and hence the viewer’s understanding of what they represent (‘lights are yellow’), were retained.
Having just drawn examples, we knew that it was theoretically possible to create color schemes where semantic colors look pleasing rather than clash with user color. But because our color system is dynamic, we now needed to define rules for our algorithm that would create such harmonious schemes given any set of colors, across the whole spectrum.
Finding a solution with the help of color science
First we wanted to understand why these colors were visually pleasing, to uncover any properties they had which could translate into rules. Why does this yellow look more harmonious under this red scheme, while another yellow looks better under a blue scheme?
A color can be described by its hue, tone, and chroma.
This harmony can be explained by color theory. For any color, its hue corresponds to one’s perception of it as red versus blue, or yellow versus green (other properties that describe a color include tone, or how light or dark it appears, and chroma, or how vibrant or neutral). Hue is a spectrum that can be drawn like a circle, and ranges on this circle will correspond to what one might recognize as a certain color, like yellow (how people recognize and separate colors is highly influenced by culture).
A particular hue of a color can be considered warmer or cooler, depending on where it is on the spectrum.
Depending on where in this range a particular color falls, it can be considered a warm or cool version of that color. For example, yellows towards the orange hues are warm yellows, while those towards the green side are cool yellows. This idea of color temperature also corresponds to entire types of colors that people visually and culturally perceive as warm or cool. For example, red overall is a warm color, while blue is a cool one.
Sets of colors that sit closer together on the hue spectrum can appear more harmonious than those farther apart.
In Material, we quantify hue as a number from 0-360, very much like degrees on the circle. To understand why some colors looked pleasing together, we examined their hue numbers. We found that harmonious semantic colors tended to be closer to the user color: semantic colors’ hue numbers were shifting around, making them slightly warmer or cooler. For example, in a blue dynamic scheme, semantic colors like red, orange and green all became cooler, moving closer to the cool hue of the blue user color.
An algorithm to create color harmony
Material creates color harmony by adjusting custom colors towards the user color for a more pleasing overall scheme.
From this, we realized we could define rules to consistently take a semantic color’s hue and shift it towards the user color, creating a warmer or cooler version with better harmony. With more experimenting, we found a threshold that achieved this color harmony while retaining a color’s identity: a ‘yellow’ didn’t turn all the way to ‘green’, and retained its semantic meaning.
Along the way, our designers learned a lot about the intricacies of color science and perception. And since we’ve added color harmony to our design guidance, the Material Theme Builder and engineering resources, we hope to pass this knowledge on to teams and makers, and enable them to work with color in both beautiful and functional ways.
Google is officially back. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is leagues ahead of its predecessors in hardware, software, and design with a brand-new set of camera sensors, a new and unique design, and plenty of new software features that leverage Google’s custom-made Tensor chip. All packaged in stylish new hardware, the Pixel 6 Pro is what Google believes is the “best expression of Android”.
The Pixel 6 Pro has been totally redesigned and features dual-tone glass finishes, along with a camera array that sits in a bar all the way across the rear of the phone. There’s now an in-display scanner (as is the trend across Android flagships), and the 120Hz LTPO AMOLED is the largest (and smoothest) of any Pixel smartphone.
Google believed that conventional chipsets weren’t enough for what it wanted to be possible on a smartphone, and the Google Pixel 6 Pro is a culmination of years of research and development that led to Google’s first customized Tensor chipset (produced by Samsung), along with the integration of that chipset with advanced software features and improving camera performance all around. The new chipset enables quicker and more efficient on-device language processing, and it allows for Google’s computational photography to work faster than before.
The Google Pixel 6 Pro has new camera sensors all around, all of which are larger than previous Pixel phones. The main camera is a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN1 that Google says can capture 2.5X more light than the Pixel 5’s 12.2MP main sensor. There’s a 48MP periscope telephoto camera capable of 4X optical zoom, and an updated ultrawide camera with a new 12MP sensor. The front camera is now 11.MP and capable of recording 4K video. Google also improved the camera’s facial recognition and introduced Real Tone: a series of tweaks and improvements to the camera to accurately capture people of all skin tones.
Google Pixel 6 Pro specs at a glance:
Body: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm, 210g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), stainless steel frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
Front camera:Wide (main):11.1 MP, f/2.2, 20mm, 1.22µm
Video capture:Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), stereo sound rec; Front camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, EIS.
Battery: 5003mAh; Fast charging 30W, 50% in 30 min (advertised), USB Power Delivery 3.0, fast wireless charging up to 23W, reverse wireless charging
Misc: Titan M2 security coprocessor, In-display fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; Google Pay; Google Assistant
You can expect 80% faster CPU performance and 370% faster GPU performance compared to the Snapdragon 765G that ran in the Pixel 5. Tensor will enable new language processing features that Google touted during its presentation. It also integrated the ISP and Context Core within Tensor to make image processing and background tasks more power-efficient.
We’re excited to dive into the Google Pixel 6 Pro and check out the improvements in photography and videography, as well as expected improvements to battery life given the huge 5,003 mAh power cell. There are also some huge changes in Android 12, which coincide nicely with Google‘s new design identity. Let’s start with the phone’s packaging, which comes in a slimmer box.
The Pixel 6 Pro comes in a more compact box, now that a charger is no longer included. Underneath the handset in the box, you’ll find a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, SIM-eject tool, documentation, and a ‘Quick Transfer Adapter’. This lets you connect a USB-A cable into the Pixel to transfer data from another Android or iOS device.
The Pixel 6 Pro competes directly with higher-end smartphones but slightly undercuts them in price with its $899 starting price. The Pixel 6 Pro is only available in select markets, including the US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, UK, and Ireland.
The Pixel 6 (non-Pro) is naturally the first alternative that comes to mind. Though we haven’t reviewed it yet, this Pixel comes at a significantly cheaper price point than the Pro for $599. The Pixel 6 Pro brings a smaller 6.4-inch flat display with a 90Hz refresh rate, there are 8GB of RAM (versus 12GB on the Pro), and there’s no periscope telephoto camera here. Although it has a smaller battery (4614 mAh), we’d have to run tests to tell you which one gets better battery life.
The Google Pixel 5 and 5a come to mind as the only (older) alternatives from Google. The Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a are both very well-rounded smartphones with excellent battery life and great all-around Pixel cameras that still hold up today in their price range.
The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro are the closest to the Pixel 6 Pro in price, though the Pixel 6 Pro’s display more closely matches Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max. Google‘s Pixel is often considered “The iPhone of Android” due to the first-party support and software updates that come directly from Google. Google’s 5 years of Android updates also now more closely matches Apple’s five to six years. Cameras are both impressive, but the iPhone wins in consistency and battery life on the 13 Pro Max.
The Pixel 6 Pro‘s price point sits right between the Galaxy S21+ and the S21 Ultra, but these days – even as we approach the holiday season, it may be possible to snag an Ultra at a decent discount. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is regarded as one of the best smartphones of 2021 with its fully equipped cameras, bright and beautiful AMOLED screen and multi-day battery life. Though the Galaxy is a little behind on software updates, Samsung’s One UI is packed with many features and even brings versatile support for Samsung’s S Pen Pro.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro comes to mind with its large AMOLED screen and excellent cameras. As one of the earliest smartphones running the Snapdragon 888 chipset, its battery endurance is slightly behind the Pixel 6 Pro, albeit with a 4,500 mAh battery versus the Pixel 6 Pro’s larger 5,000 mAh one. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a 50MP main camera and dual 48MP telephoto and ultrawide cameras, and a large display with a high refresh rate. The Xiaomi phone, however, does support 67W fast charging out of the box.
When Google launched the Pixel 5 last year, many (including we) were met with confusion when Google announced that the flagship Pixel phone for 2020 was reverting to a mid-range device with the same camera hardware. In our review of the Pixel 5, we were disappointed that Google would not release a true flagship, but now we realize that it could have been due to supply chain issues that dated back to early 2020.
Google has been overdue for a changeup with the Pixel line, and it has been satisfied with the Pixel 6 Pro. The phone looks beautiful, the cameras have finally been updated, and Android is as good as ever with Android 12. In addition, Google has promised up to 5 years of software support including three years of OS updates and 5 years of security patches.
The cameras are extremely capable with deep colors and well-defined details, even so, we still think it could use a couple of tweaks. HDR+ seems more aggressive than it needs to be, thus making images look slightly overprocessed and sharper than true life. There’s also some inconsistency in color between the main and ultrawide cameras. The resulting images, regardless, are indeed pleasing to look at. Video sees much improvement as well, with excellent dynamic range and great stabilization. We just wish there was a way to use the 4X zoom camera in lower resolution modes, but we think this may be a bug.
So the question that bears asking here: Is the Google Pixel 6 Pro worth it? It depends on where you are located and whether you are willing to wait a bit longer for a new phone. As of the first of November, the Pixel 6 family in the US is backordered through the end of December, and even going into January for some models. In addition, the Pixel 6 duo is only available in a handful of markets across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Although it doesn’t score high marks in battery life, the Pixel 6 Pro truly is a wonderful take on Android that many have been waiting for, and we’d recommend it to anyone who has been holding onto an older-generation Pixel smartphone in hopes that Google would eventually pull through. If you’ve a more recent Pixel smartphone like the Pixel 5 or 5a, we’d recommend waiting until another Pixel comes around with the second-generation Tensor chip – one that is better able to manage battery life and one that’s perhaps less prone to throttling.
If you manage to find availability for the Pixel 6 Pro, this is the best Google Pixel that money can buy today. Google has continued to innovate in software features and has even gone out of its way to customize the chipset to leverage more software features that are exclusive to the newest Pixels while pushing its limits with computational photography.
Gorgeous hardware design with IP68 and durable Gorilla Glass Victus all over
Excellent display with 120Hz and great sunlight legibility
Beautiful UI with fun and colorful elements; extended firmware update support (3 years OS, 5 years security); newly enabled Voice Typing and on-device voice to text processing are excellent
Google Tensor chip offers great all-around performance and excellent graphics performance
Pixel camera sees much needed improvements in still images and video; excellent shots from 4X periscope camera
Battery life misses expectations
No charger included in the box
30W charging is not the quickest
HDR+ is too aggressive in still images and could use some tweaks
Color tuning inconsistent between main and ultrawide cameras
Google Tensor chip throttles under sustained peak performance
One of the core selling features of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro appears to have a problem courtesy of the latest Google Photos update. It seems that Magic Eraser is causing the Google Photos app to crash on Pixel 6 devices.
[Update]: Google has now officially responded to a Reddit thread discussing the problems with the Photos app to confirm that the Magic Eraser issue has been identified and a fix is rolling out already for those affected:
Thank you for your patience and bug reports. Starting today, we are rolling out a fix, so please update to the latest version of Google Photos (188.8.131.526251772 or higher) in the Play Store.
The Google Photos 184.108.40.2066251772 update should be available via the Google Play Store over the next 24 hours and will ensure that Pixel 6 owners encountering app crashes will again be able to access the Magic Eraser feature.
Magic Eraser lets you remove any unwanted objects, people, and blemishes from images, and although not perfect does a fairly solid job of cleaning up your photos using AI to clean things up. The feature has been touted heavily in launch and promo materials over the past few months, but it seems that problems have arisen.
You may remember that shortly after launch the Magic Eraser feature was accidentally removed from some Pixel 6 devices with Google Photos version 220.127.116.119192963. That was resolved with a swift app update, but it seems that reports of app crashes with the Magic Eraser feature on Pixel 6 devices have grown in the past 24 hours.
It’s not immediately clear what the problem is, but cleaning the Google Photos app cache and resetting does not prevent app crashes for those affected. Luckily, the latest Photos update does not appear to be widely rolled out, but until a fix arrives, it might be worthwhile turning off auto-updates by heading to the Play Store listing > tap the three-dot upper-right menu > Disable auto-update.
On the surface, Gmail seems like a basic email platform for simple sending and receiving. Under the hood, there are tons of functions you can make use of – schedule send, label organization, theme changes, and even Google’s Gmail chat. Read along to find out how each of these useful features works.
How to schedule send in Gmail
There are plenty of times when you have an idea, something to say, or a picture to send, but it’s way too early or late at night to do so. That’s when Gmail’s scheduled send really comes in handy. This feature allows you to delay sending an email until a preferred time in the future.
You can schedule an email to send well over a year in advance if you really want to. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on how far out you can schedule an email.
Find the Compose email button on the lower right side of your screen, and tap it.
Compose an email like you would normally.
When you’re done composing, tap the three-dot menu at the top right of the screen.
Tap Schedule send, and select your time.
You can choose between Google’s presets, or you can define your own timeframe by hitting Pick date & time.
Hit Schedule send to confirm and finalize your email.
Head to gmail.com on your preferred browser, and sign in.
Look for the compose button. It should be located toward the top left of your browser screen. Click it.
Write out your email like normal. When you’re finished, click the dropdown arrow next to the Send button.
Click Schedule send.
Just like on mobile, you can choose a Google preset time, or pick your own time by hitting Pick date & time.
Click Schedule send to finish the email.
Both on mobile and web, you can cancel any email that you schedule in two different ways. First, you’ll notice a small notification at the bottom of the screen after you schedule an email. This notification has an Undo button on it. By hitting this, your email will cancel and revert to draft form so you can edit and try again.
The other way to cancel the email is to head into your Scheduled folder in Gmail, which appears after scheduling an email on web but is constantly there on mobile. Here, you can find your scheduled email and choose to delete it or cancel it by opening it and tapping Cancel send. Schedule send in Gmail can come in handy pretty often, so it’s a good function to know how to use.
Organizing by changing label colors in Gmail
Labels in Gmail act sort of like dynamic folders for the emails you want to organize and sort. You can add rules for new emails coming in to automatically sort into labels and change the color of the label in order to easily manage them. Changing the color is relatively easy to do and can liven up your inbox a little more. While this feature is only available on Gmail for web, it’s still an extremely useful organizational tool. Here’s how to change label colors in Gmail:
In the sidebar menu to the left of your screen, find a label you’ve created.
Note: If you don’t have any labels created, you can do so by scrolling down in the sidebar menu and clicking Create new label.
When hovering over a label with your mouse, you’ll see a three-dot menu appear. Click it.
Click Label color and choose among the preset colors Gmail has to offer, or create your own.
Automatically organizing emails
You can also create rules for emails in your Gmail inbox to automatically add labels. For instance, tax-related documents and receipts can be siphoned into one label for easy management. Not only that, but emails can automatically be forwarded, deleted, archived, and much more. Here’s how you can create incoming email rules:
At the top of the page, click the adjustment icon in the search bar.
Fill out the parameters to your liking.
Note: Here, you can define a set of emails from certain senders as well as define emails including certain terms. This form can be filled out in a lot of different ways, and not all boxes need to be filled. You can test out your parameters by clicking Search to see what sort of emails come up.
Once you fill out the information to your liking, click Create filter.
Choose what happens to those emails.
Note: Here you can choose whether these emails get immediately deleted, starred, or moved into an existing or new label.
Once you’re done, hit Create filter again.
Creating rules for incoming emails is a Gmail feature that can help you stay organized a lot more easily. Play around with different rules to see what helps you out the most as this tool can be used a thousand different ways.
Unread message icon in Chrome
Another nifty little feature you can enable is the unread message icon. This icon will appear as a number in your Google Chrome tab icon, showing you exactly how many emails you haven’t read yet. Here’s how to enable it:
Look for and click the settings cog at the top right of the page, then click See all settings.
Find and click the Advanced section.
Scroll to the bottom, and find the Unread message icon. Click it.
Click Save changes.
Gmail will refresh after hitting Save changes. You’ll notice a small number appears on the Chrome tab if you have unread emails.
Gmail viewing modes
Whether you like your inbox to look condensed so all your information is right where you need it or spaced out, Gmail has you covered. By going into Settings, you can change Gmail’s density. There are three options:
Play around with these different viewing densities, and choose one that fits your needs. Personally, I like default, since it allows the most information at a glance.
Changing your Gmail theme
Some Gmail features are purely there as quality-of-life settings. Themes fit right into that category. Rather than a dull white or black Gmail, you can develop or choose a theme that represents you a little better, or just lightens up your mood when replying to monotonous emails all day.
Gmail allows you to choose between preset photos, colors, and even your own Google Photos images to use. Here’s how to change your Gmail theme:
Look for the settings cog at the top right of the page and click it.
Look for the Theme section. You can choose from these few photos, or you can hit View all to choose from even more.
Once you hit View all, scroll through the page and find what really speaks to you. If nothing does, click My photos at the bottom left.
Choose between Featured, My photos, and Recently selected if you’re wanting to revert to a previous photo.
Note: If an image is over 20MB, you won’t be able to use it for your theme.
Once you find the photo you want, select it, and hit Save.
Once you save, you should see your new theme appear in the background of Gmail. There’s no limit on how many times you can change your theme, so go nuts.
Turning off Google Chat/Meet in Gmail
Some settings are fantastic when enabled, others are even better when disabled. One example is Google Chat and Meet. While these optional chat platforms can be useful for communication, it tends to clutter up Gmail, which is already prone to clutter.
Whether you should disable Google Chat and Meet is completely up to you and how you use Gmail. In case you never use these features and want to clean up your Gmail experience, here’s how to disable Chat and Meet:
Look for the settings cog at the top right of your screen.
Tap See all settings.
Look for and click the Chat and Meet section.
Next to Chat, select Off.
Next to Meet select Hide the Meet section in the main menu.
Click Save changes.
You don’t have to disable Google Chat and Meet in Gmail or even either of them. It all depends on your preferences for using Gmail. Once you hit Save changes, Gmail will refresh, and your changes will be reflected. Suddenly, you’ll find that the side menu is much less cluttered and easier to navigate.
These are just a few things you may not have realized you can do to change your Gmail experience. Whether you want to implement all of them or none of them is up to you. Either way, Gmail is a great tool and even greater when you know how to organize labels, change their color, and disable certain features.
While Google’s Pixel 6 series launched to acclaim, both phones have been affected by some issues since their October launch. One area that Pixel 6 seemingly has trouble with is with external audio DACs, but a fix is coming.
Not long after launch, some users found that Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro weren’t fully compatible with some external DACs.
A DAC is a digital-to-audio converter that can take digital audio and output it to an analog signal, which can then be used by audio gear. Traditionally, these devices are only used by those who consider themselves audiophiles, so this is certainly a niche issue, but one Google should definitely patch up.
With Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the problem with using an external DAC seems to come down to certain apps, such as Poweramp, crashing. Some users have also reported that the issue outputs a loud screeching noise, which is sure to be unpleasant when wearing a pair of headphones. Tweaking some settings seems to help in some cases, but there are clearly some problems going on.
As spotted by the folks over at Android Police the other day, Google has now confirmed that it is working on a fix for external DAC compatibility with Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but it will be some time until the fix arrives. One of Google’s community managers confirmed on Reddit that a fix for this issue is coming this summer. While it’s great that Google has figured out a patch, that timeline certainly isn’t ideal, but there’s always a chance the timeline is accelerated behind the scenes.
Hey GbEBliss. We’re sorry you’ve been experiencing this issue, and thank you for reporting it. We’ve identified a fix and will roll it out this coming summer.
After issues, bugs, and tons of problems, the January Pixel 6 update at least appears to have fixed things for our readers.
Early last week we asked you if you have seen a reduction in device-breaking problems that were facing some Pixel 6 early buyers. There were a number of common problems, but connectivity problems provided the biggest roadblock for many owners. Now, it’s often a loud, vocal majority that will be visible online and while in many cases smartphone issues can get overblown, in this case, it certainly was not.
Google’s decision to pull the late December patch and issue a later-than-usual January update to resolve a mounting list of problems is an indication that this was not just isolated to a few cases here and there. If you are wondering why people have complained, here’s a short refresher video explaining the issues that Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners have faced:
After a brief hiatus in 2020, Google returned this year to the flagship smartphone scene with the Pixel 6 Pro. But the company is no stranger to sorta flagships, and the Pixel 6 non-Pro is kinda just that if you’ll forgive our overuse of Google‘s own terminology.
In true not-quite-there fashion, the Pixel 6 omits the telephoto camera – that one is reserved for the Pro. It does get to keep the other two in that black camera strip that makes this year’s Google phones so unlike any other. Similarly, you won’t be getting the ultrawide-ish 11MP selfie unit of the Pro, but the non-Pro’s sorta wide (last time) selfie camera is good enough.
Other concessions await in the display section. Instead of the 120Hz QHD panel of the Pro, the Pixel 6 makes do with a 90Hz FullHD screen. It’s not as big either, but at 6.4 inches, the non-Pro is not a small Pixel like we had with the earlier generations – we did like those, sigh.
That pretty much exhausts the list of principal differences between the two Pixel flavors. You do get the same brand-new in-house designed Tensor chip that enables all sorts of on-device machine learning cleverness, and while the 8GB of RAM here aren’t quite the Pro’s 12GB, they sure sound like plenty. Along those lines is the smaller battery and slightly slower charging.
Google Pixel 6 specs at a glance:
Body: 158.6×74.8×8.9mm, 207g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass 6), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
Google joins in on the no-charger trend this time around, and the Pixel 6 arrives in a half-height box as has become the norm at the high-end market segment. The lid has a print of the actual phone on top, and the sides are color-matched as well – hence boring black on our review unit.
In terms of accessories, inside the box, you’ll find a USB-C cable and USB-A-to-C adapter, should you choose to plug in a USB stick or maybe transfer data from an old microUSB-equipped phone using its own cable.
The Pixel 6 Pro is the true Google flagship, and it’s that model’s job to stand up to the competition of the Pro Maxes and the Ultras of this world. The Pixel 6, meanwhile, with its more modest aspirations (and asking price) faces a crowd not quite as tough.
That’s not to say that the Galaxy S21, for example, doesn’t have it beat in one thing or another. The Galaxy’s display does support a higher refresh rate and, while not strictly telephoto, its zoom camera can get you better reach than the Pixel 6‘s setup, and it won’t leave you wanting with its other cameras either. The Galaxy is also an obvious choice if you want a smaller phone, offering some 40g of weight savings. The S21 is more expensive, and while a €50 premium isn’t all that much in Europe, the gap in the US is a lot more tangible at $800 vs. $600 for the Pixel. And for all that, you’d still be getting a plastic-backed Galaxy.
The Pixel 6 is at a similar price advantage in the US against the iPhone 13 ($800), but now also in Europe, where Apple charges €900 for a base version 13 non-Pro. Telephoto-challenged both of these, each will likely keep you satisfied with their camera performance, if in slightly different ways. Battery life is similar, charging slowness is comparable, displays are equally bright, though the Pixel scores a point here for its 30 extra Hertz. The iPhone is appreciably lighter if that’s a consideration. Peak Android vs. iOS is a whole separate debate in itself. Ultimately, the Pixel seems like the better deal.
Speaking of deals, the Zenfone 8 with its $630/€650-ish price tag just about qualifies as one. Another notably smaller handset, the Zenfone is for those that would have liked a mini Pixel, only to be left hanging by Google. The Zenfone has a 120Hz display and charges slightly faster, but neither is a game-changer, and there aren’t any massive differentiators when it comes to objective stuff – unless, that is, you’re a particular fan of the Zenfone’s headphone jack. It’s mostly the size that will settle this and, as with all others here, software.
The OnePlus 9 comes in at $660/€700, so a reasonable stretch if you’re okay with the Pixel’s $600/€650 MSRP. The OP comes with a couple of advantages, including way faster charging and a higher refresh rate display, which is also as big as the Pixel’s – unlike the others above. The OP isn’t IP-rated, so that’s a win for the Google phone. We’re leaning towards the Pixel altogether.
The Pixel 6 has us muttering some valid if small-ish, complaints. Competitors have largely moved to 120Hz displays, and this one is still at 90Hz, though the jump from 60Hz to 90Hz is perhaps the more visible one. Charging is slow in the grand scheme of things, but about alright in the Pixel 6’s context where that doesn’t seem to be a priority. Tensor throttles, but so do the competing high-end Snapdragon/Exynoses. And for all its tendency to pick up lint from your pockets, the camera strip on the back is a rarely interesting-looking design choice.
Google being a software company in the first place, it’s the Pixel’s take on Android that is a key selling point, and we’re fans of the direction it’s going with UI this year. The on-device software features enabled by that occasionally throttling Tensor are unique to the lineup and can be of real help for the right user. And for all the catching up that the competition has done in the computational photography field, the Pixel 6 remains a class-leading cameraphone – that can be appreciated by everyone.
The one truly major downside of the Pixel 6 that we can’t dismiss easily is the fact that it’s only available in a dozen countries. That’s just the reality of Google’s smartphone business and not something we see changing soon or at all. Going through hoops to import one elsewhere might require some proper motivation and justification. But if you’re in one of those countries where Google officially sells a Pixel 6, just get one.
Standout rear design is unique to Pixel 6s.
Beautiful UI with fun and colorful elements; extended firmware update support; newly enabled Voice Typing and on-device voice to text processing.
Google Tensor chip offers great all-around performance and excellent graphics performance.
Great all-round photo and video quality across all three cameras.
While many iOS users default to Safari for their browsing needs, Google Chrome is ready for cross-platform syncing and more. However, an update rolling out over the past few days is causing issues for Google Chrome users on iOS that result in the app freezing entirely.
Over the past 24 hours, dozens of Chrome users on iOS have reported on Google’sforums and Reddit that the Chrome app is freezing and completely inoperable. Many report that reboots, reinstalling the app, and other troubleshooting methods don’t work, and the issue seems to be happening across multiple iPhone models.
We’ve since been able to replicate the issue on an iPhone running iOS 15.3. The freezing issue only occurred following an update to Chrome for iOS to version 97, which hit the App Store about three days ago. Older app versions on the same device worked without any issues. However, on another iPhone running iOS 15.2 and the same Chrome version, the freezing issue didn’t occur. On a completely fresh install, we found that the issue also didn’t occur.
When the freezing issue affects an iPhone, users are unable to browse webpages or even set up the app if they’ve not already done so. The issue freezes all functionality in just a matter of seconds.
Some users do report that a fix for this issue seems to be clearing the app’s cache, but on iOS this requires going through the app’s own settings. Unfortunately, that’s something some found impossible, as the app froze before he was able to reach that setting.
Most likely, this issue will require Google’s intervention. In the meantime, we’d recommend that you do not install Google Chrome for iOS if you’ve not already done so.
Back in August, Google updated Tasks for Android and iOS with tabs that let you quickly jump between lists. The instance of Google Tasks that exists in the web sidebar of Gmail, Docs, and other Workspace apps now looks to be getting a similar redesign, as well as the ability to favorite items.
A Google blog post about productivity tips this morning includes a screenshot of a new Google Tasks web sidebar UI. The primary difference is that all your lists are displayed in the main feed instead of users only being able to see one at a time and having to manually switch between lists from the top-left dropdown. For the web, it’s a better overall solution than using tabs.
You have the ability to hide the contents of a list to just focus on those that are currently relevant. Additionally, instead of “Add a task” appearing at the very top of this feed, that button appears next to each list name. You also get a prominent “Add a list” shortcut at the bottom, as well as at the very top.
Meanwhile, moving up in the interface, there’s now a second tab to see just a feed of tasks that you have favorited. This feature has not launched in the mobile apps and could be Google’s way to make sure you don’t have to cycle through each list to find your most important tasks.
As of today, this list redesign for Google Tasks on the web has not yet rolled out on personal and Workspace accounts that we checked. It officially remains unannounced.
Left: Upcoming | Right: Current
Google Tasks gets a new icon that matches other Workspace logos [Update: Rolling out]
Over a one-month period that ended in late November, Google rolled out updated logos for the vast majority of Workspace apps. Google Tasks was left off the list, but that’s now being rectified with a new icon.
Update 9/24: The new Google Tasks logo is rolling out right on schedule. On Android, version 2021.09.13.397725854, which is rolling out now via the Play Store, is required. A new release is not yet available on iOS, while Gmail and the other Workspace web apps have yet to be refreshed.
Original 9/15: Like Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and everything else today, the new Google Tasks icon is flat. Previously, the dot and pill that made up the checkmark featured a shadow.
The new logo drops the blue circular background for a ring. There’s a standard, centered checkmark that does break the circle with the overlapped area slightly darker as a result.
We’re updating the Google Tasks logo to better align with products across Google Workspace.
Google says the new Tasks logo will appear across the web (add-on sidebar in Gmail and other services) and on your mobile devices. Calendar technically already has a variant of the updated look.
Meanwhile, there was an update to the Android app today, but it does not bring the upcoming design. Following Gmail, Drive, and Keep, Google Tasks should also be on track to get a Material You revamp that mostly introduces Dynamic Color support (on Pixel) and a new rounded square FAB.
It will begin rolling out on September 23,2021 and be fully available over the coming weeks:
Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers