The new Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones are now available. One of the new features is called Motion Sense. It's a gesture-based system that uses the new Soli Radar chip. Here's how to get the most out of Motion Sense.
You do not need to do anything special to activate Motion Sense on your Google Pixel 4, but the features are pretty limited at the moment. We expect Google to add some in the coming months and years with software updates. For now, here are the coolest things you can do with Motion Sense today.
Motion Sense can be used to control playback in music and video applications. The feature is pretty simple right now, but it's really useful if you have dirty hands – like when you cook, for example – and you just want to quickly jump a song without getting dirty.
Simply move one hand over the top of your Pixel to play another song on the playlist or album you are listening to. A left-right gesture lets you play the next song, while a left-right move brings you a song. There is currently no way to listen to or pause music with Motion Sense for the moment.
Motion Sense works with most streaming applications on the market, including Spotify, Deezer and of course YouTube Music.
One of the coolest implementations of the new Soli Radar chip is used to disable alarms. It is not necessary to do anything special to see it in action, it should be done naturally – at least, that's how it was designed to work.
When your Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL sounds with the sound of an alarm, when you approach your smartphone, the radar chip recognizes your hand and lowers the sound of the alarm. You can then use a swipe movement similar to the one you used to edit the songs to sound the alarm.
As things stand now, a simple swipe to the left and right will sound the alarm, rather than completely dyeing it. This seems like a missed opportunity for Google, but we hope that new features will soon be added via a software update.
Just like alarms, you can use Motion Sense to reject incoming phone calls in your Pixel 4. The process is extremely simple. Simply slide your finger on the screen in one direction or the other when the call appears on the screen to reject it.
Basically, all you do here is cut the sound, the call will stay on your screen and you can always answer it if you wish. At the moment, there is no way to answer a call with Motion Sense, but who knows what the future holds.
Finally, one of the most innovative ways to use Motion Sense on your new Google Pixel is to interact with the newer screens. You've probably seen Pixel's Pikachu wallpaper but did you know that you can actually interact with it?
By sliding on the smartphone (or by waving) with the active Pikachu screen, you can actually force the cute yellow Pokemon to wave to you. It's completely useless, of course, but adorable.
Did you try Motion Sense on your Pixel 4? Let us know if you can find other tips and tricks for the new Soli Radar chip!
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